Vectrex Space Shooters – Space Wars, Star Trek & Web Wars

Like any good early 80’s console, the Vectrex had a number of space themed shooters, some of which have already been highlighted in earlier posts. This post is intended to cover most of the rest of the shooters in my collection.

Space Wars is an arcade port that pits your space ship against an opponent (computer or human) as you orbit around a sun located in the middle of the screen. If you defeat your opponent before running out of fuel or fire, you win that round! You continue on for 10 total rounds ultimately determining the true winner of the battle. You also have to take into account the gravitational pull of the sun and stray meteor showers as you work your way around the screen that adds a level of complexity to an otherwise straightforward game. Fun concept but limited replay ability unless you can find a friend to play against.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture game is a cockpit-view flight simulation shooter pitting you (as Captain Kirk on the Enterprise) against Romulan and Klingon ships. You can dodge enemy shots, blast them or use your shield to protect your ship. You have limited photon torpedoes and shields to work with so you’ll have to use them sparingly until you’re able to dock up with a starbase to replenish. You must destroy enough enemies on each screen before you can progress but your guess is as good as mine as to how many that actually is. Star Trek is fun but pretty generic. I’ve already played this game dozens of times with different names on different consoles over the years. If the name “Star Trek” wasn’t on the label, I wouldn’t have any indication it was a movie based on the popular film. It’s not that Star Trek isn’t fun and has no merit, it’s just that it’s basic.

The final game of the space shooter trifecta, Web Wars, is an interesting and fun take on Tempest. You control a bird like creature shooting at enemies approaching from the distance while attempting to capture “trophies”, i.e. other insects, for your trophy room while moving back and forth along a spider web. If you are unsuccessful at entering the trophy room, a Cosmic Dragon will fly overhead and shoot down at you, but you won’t be able to shoot back so try to avoid meeting up with him. Web Wars is a winning combination of familiar and unfamiliar elements. As I am already a big fan of Tempest, Web Wars is a winning addition to my Vectrex collection.

Currently in my collection:

Space Wars: game only B

Star Trek: The Motion Picture: game only C+

Web Wars: game, manual, overlay and box A-

Wish List: Space Wars and Star Trek manuals, overlays and boxes

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