(The Board) Games People Play: #11, Space Attack

Advantage to Andromeda…

Tuesday 04 January 1983

I bunked off school with Tricia today. She too couldn’t stand Mr Morris’ maths lessons but, luckily for me, Morris’ Tuesday lesson is first thing in the morning. What does this fellow do? Nip across to the Sunny Rose for cheese and bacon toasties with Tricia. We spent the best part of an hour there, playing on the Space Invaders machine over frothy coffee.

I wonder if my mother found out? Fault. My form tutor must have found out. Double fault. Looks like detention on Friday after school, and being grounded. Then I was rumbled.

“Mr South. Did you know that we’re not in school till tomorrow?” said Tricia.

“Whew! Thank goodness for that” I thought. Advantage, South…

Space Attack

Though 1983 saw the release of the Mattel Intellivision and the Commodore 64 in the UK, there was still a ready market for TV games. In other words, Atari Pong clones with names like TV Scoreboard by Tandy or Grandstand. There was only one problem with some TV games: batteries. Unless you had an adaptor, they didn’t half eat up the Gold Seals or Silver Seals for breakfast.

Action GT had an answer: Space Attack. Without the need for batteries, two players could play a Pong style game. Without the perforations it lent itself more to air hockey in terms of gameplay. The aim of the game is to score ten goals, and the first player to get ten goals is the winner.

A metal spinner is launched from the centre of the board with a winder. Once a button is released, the spinner enters the playing field. Your paddle is used to score goals at the opposite end. Each player has a score marker, either on the left or right hand side of their paddle. That’s it.

Though better known under Action GT’s name in the UK, it is derived from Wayne Gretsky’s Rocket Hockey, published by Mattel in 1978.

S.V., 11 December 2017.

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