This ad for the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 versions of Galaxian is from the August/September 1983 issue of Video Games Player. For more info on the Atari 2600 version of Galaxian, see this post. For the Atari 5200 version, see this post.
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Galaxian (Atari 5200)
Galaxian was the predecessor to the ultimately more popular Galaga. It was sort of a halfway point between the evolution from games like Space Invaders, to somewhat more advanced games like Galaga and had elements of both. The Atari 5200 was an excellent machine for this game because it had the power to deliver a near arcade experience. Having said this, the Atari 5200 version was not as good as it should have been.
The sound and graphics on the Atari 5200 version were very good, especially compared to the Atari 2600. Still, they probably should have been just a touch better. Especially since six 6 years had passed since the original arcade version came out in 1979 to when the Atari 5200 version was released in 1985. However, the real problem is with the standard Atari 5200 controllers. They were terrible and ruined many otherwise decent games. In the case of Galaxian, it can be played with the track ball controller and this is definitely the way to go with this game. So if you are playing on a real system, go the extra mile and hunt down a trackball controller. The other option of course is emulation. But in this case, you might as well play the arcade version. The Atari 5200 version is good but other than nostalgia for that machine and particular version of the game, there’s no reason to recommend it over the arcade version. However, for those preferring to play on the original hardware, this game is a pretty easy one to find and definitely worth picking up if you don’t already have it.
Coleco released a series of miniature arcade games in the early 1980s. These were LED based and more tabletop games than handheld. I found this ad on Tumblr and I’m not sure what the original source is but it appears to be targeted towards retail establishments as it mentions them being ready to ship and a national ad roll-out. The two featured here are Galaxian and Pac-Man.
I never had one of these myself though I remember I had a friend who had a couple. This would have been in 1982 when I was 7. I think he had Pac-Man and Frogger. He also had an Atari 2600 so I spent a lot of time at his house.
Though I never had one of these, I think it was in Christmas 1982 that I got a handheld knock-off of Pac-Man called Hungry Monster. It was also LED based and it was still a lot of fun despite being a clone. I still have it. I wouldn’t get an Atari 2600 until the following year. I no longer have my original Atari 2600 as I sold it shortly after getting my Commodore 64. However, I did pick up another at a flea market a couple of years later and I do still have that one.
These Coleco tabletops are pretty collectible these days so if you want one, be prepared to pay a few bucks on eBay. Functional ones start at around $40 but if you want one complete in the box be prepared to pay well over $100.