In the game it's your mission to destroy a large swarm of aggressive alien bugs before they destroy you. Unlike other popular shooters like Space Invaders your enemies won't just move back and forth and wait to be shot, instead some of the bugs will swoop away from their formation to attack you personally. The good thing about this is the bugs will be worth more points and you can even get special bonuses for destroying the leaders of the group at the right time. You need precise timing to survive and that's where this 5200 version falls apart.
In the game you can only move your starship left and right so you would think the masters at Atari would be able to handle this simple concept. The problems with those 5200 non-recentering controllers has never been more apparent then in this game right here. Even with the slightest touch on the joystick it's hard not to go too fast which makes aiming your slow moving missiles nearly impossible. How are you suppose to play a game like this with controls this bad?
The graphics are one of the bright spots about this game and to be honest they weren't even that good. On the positive side the aliens are colourful and the stars in the background actually move. On the negative side there is a lot of slowdown and flickers which shows tons of graphical problems with the system itself.
As bad as the graphics and controls were, nothing compares to the future pain from listening to God awful music and sound effects here. I don't know what happened but the annoyingly constant buzzing sound and overly loud sound effects is just hell on the ears. Galaxian for the Atari 5200 is easily one of the worst sounding games I ever heard!
Galaxian should have been one of those games that should have helped sell the 5200 system. Sadly, the terrible sound effects, poor controls, and repetitive game play ruin this classic shoot em up so the whole title acted as video game repellent. This game was never one of favourites to begin with but this version made it even worse because of the extremely sloppy translation here. Avoid Galaxian for the 5200 unless you need another hockey puck.