Originally based on the popular Battlestar Galactica TV series, this space combat simulator was produced by APh Technological Consulting for Mattel Electronics, programmed by Hal Finney and tested by Dale Lynn. Two versions of the game were released in a blue box and a red box. The red box was the initial release and was eventually deemed too easy by Lynn, and eventually the general public. So a more difficult version, the more commonly known blue box, was released as part of the “Intellivision Space Action Network” series of games which included a super advanced speed mode that the original version did not.
The name was changed because, although one of Mattel’s subsidiaries, Concepts 2000, had the rights to produce the official line of Battlestar Galactica toys , Mattel could not secure the license for their videogame. At the point that this was discovered, development had been underway for a while. The name was changed to the painfully generic “Space Battle“, but the graphics remained the same. This is why the enemy ships look like Cylon raiders.
Defend the Mothership from the invading squadrons of enemies using your own squadrons. There are two screens a player will have to deal with when playing. One is the radar view that shows the location of the Mothership in the center, the player’s squadrons of ships, and the enemy squadrons. The other view is the cockpit view where the player will move a reticule around the screen to fire upon enemy ships.
From the radar screen the player is able to direct his squadrons. The player is given three squadrons with which to dispatch the enemies. A blue, gold, and white squadron have the ability to be dispatched, returned to base, or battle. When dispatching an alien must be selected then the dispatch key for the appropriate color must be hit. This will cause the squadron to proceed to the selected enemy. Once intercepted your ship will start blinking. This means you can battle. This will cause you to enter the cockpit mode.
In the battle view the player is presented with a view of the stars. The player is also given a reticule with which to target enemy
ships. Enemy ships will appear from off screen and continue moving around on the screen. It is the player’s job to move the reticule near the enemy ships so the explosion will hit them and cause them to blow up. In the bottom left and right of the screen are the number of ships left in the enemy’s squadron and the player’s squadron respectively. One either of those numbers reach zero the battle is over and the player will be returned to the radar view.
It is possible to blow up multiple enemy ships with one shot if time right. When destroyed an enemy will let off three other explosions from around the original explosion. If these explosions hit another enemy ship it will be destroyed as well. This is why it becomes important to lead some of your targets.
When in cockpit view the enemies will also fire at the player. The player must avoid these shots by keeping his reticule away from the shot. These shots appear as two squares side by side separated by a little space that become red as they get closer (depth wise) to the player.
The player wins when all five enemy squadrons have been eliminated of the radar. A player loses when the Mothership has sustain too much damage. This happens when the siren has been going off for a set time. It is the management of the player’s squadrons and his ability to switch quickly between the screens that will allow a player to master this game.
“Two player co-op” is also available but only in the cockpit view. In this case one player will control the reticule while the other fires.