( Galaga '90 )
game Cover
game HuCard
©1981 1988 Namco Ltd.,
HuCard (2 Mbits) NC63002
Release : 1988-08-15 (¥4900)

American Version
Released in America as
( TGX002218 )
Galaga'88 is a vertical shooter and conversion of Namco's arcade game of the same name originally released in 1987. Shoot the descending aliens! The game closely follows the gameplay mechanics introduced by Galaga and Galaxian, although it adds its own twists to the classic formula. It introduces a myriad of new and wacky enemies - some comically inflate as they get hit, some combine into larger foes whereas others explode and release swarms of all kind of tiny creatures. Every few levels, the player enters a bonus stage where formations of dancing aliens must be destroyed for points, and some levels even switch to vertical scrolling phases interspersed with a few boss battles. Although the game only features seven large areas (all divided into 25 sub-stages), the player can travel through different dimensions and technically access new and unique levels (two blue warp-pods must be collected in each area in order to jump to a higher dimension, giving the game a total of 22 areas). Finally, as in the original Galaga, some enemies can capture the player's ship with their tractor beams, and successfully freeing the captured ship doubles the player's firepower - the operation can be performed twice for the ultimate and powerful triple-ship! Interestingly, Galaga'88 allows the player to directly start the game with a double-ship (at the cost of one life).
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Galaga'88 - arcade Galaga'88 was an arcade game originally released in 1987 by Namco (picture on the left). It was technically the third Galaga game, after Galaga (1981) and Gaplus (1984), although the whole series took off after the financial success of Galaxian (1979). The game was then converted to the Sharp X68000 (1987), the PC Engine (it was renamed Galaga'90 for the American Turbografx-16 release) and the Sega Game Gear (where it was renamed Galaga'91 in Japan, and Galaga 2 in Europe). As a side note, the original arcade game was included in Namco Museum Arcade Hits (aka Namco Museum 50th Anniversary) released for the Playstation 2 (2006), Xbox (2005) and Game Cube (2005). Interestingly, only the Playstation 2 version was released in Japan, and although Galaga'88 is directly available there, it needs to be unlocked in the North American and European versions. Finally, Galaga'88 was also included in the Namco Museum Virtual Arcade released for the Xbox 360 in 2008.

Galaga'88 - arcade Galaga'88 for the PC Engine is a fairly accurate conversion. The first obvious difference is the screen aspect ratio - the arcade game runs on a vertically oriented monitor which gives the player a better field of view. Then each area in the arcade game greets the player with a quick animation featuring a creature mumbling some random alien words (picture on the right), feature curiously removed from the PC Engine port (probably due to cartridge space limitations). Finally, the arcade game is overall a bit more difficult, and the alien ships are a lot more aggressive.

Teaser text from the American version:
Galaga is a smoldering planet that often erupts with angry mutants and misfits. As Galactic commander of the Federal Army you have the job of making them dead. Not easy ! Because they come at you in clusters like swarms of killer bees. This time, you will be flying the awesome Triple Proton Fighter that warps to new dimensions and increased firepower. Galaga goons, your graveyard awaits.


Galaga'88 manual Galaga'90 manual Galaga'88 commercial
Click on picture to enlarge


Add your Pov here !

Galaga'88 is fantastic and incredibly addictive. I personally think that it is one of the best sequels to Galaga, and it managed to retain the addictive gameplay from the original while adding its own unique touches and fresh ideas. The graphics and animations are perfect, the soundtrack (or sound effects I should rather say) is terrific and the gameplay is truly where the game shines. The way how you can sacrifice your ship for the possibility of doubling (or tripling) your firepower is probably my favorite part of the game. Galaga'88's wonderful sense of humor is another likable quality - the "Galactic Dancing" stages or the aliens that inflate as you shoot them are absolutely priceless. Galaga'88's warping feature is also genius and seriously increases the game's replayability. All in all, if you are a fan of Galaga or Galaxian, you shouldn't miss this gem of a game.

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