Hands up, who remembers Defender? Flying over horizontally scrolling landscapes, blasting aliens and protecting the humans? Ah, nostalgia's not what it used to be...
Thing is, aliens aren't the problem this time. It's anarchists. Disorder and chaos have taken over, and it's down to you to put a stop to all of this. Starting off with a small but effective laser, you've got to fly around and, yep, blast 'em out of the skies!
The anarchists have taken many forms, such as Darters (which zip all over the screen), Bouncers, Clusters and Blisters. These all perform various nefarious tasks, and do their absolute utmost to do you in. Contact with an anarchist or missile results in depleting your energy shield. Once the shield is gone, that's your lot.
By collecting pods and coins left behind by recently-deceased troublemakers, you can build up a pretty formidable armoury, containing such delights as devastators (smart bombs), cannon outriders or 'nackem power', which gives you every weapon going. Thing is, these only last for a limited amount of time, so they have to be used wisely.
Key personnel have escaped in life-support canisters, and you've got to wipe out all the anarchists in the level before the canisters are destroyed. If all the canisters are wiped out, you get thrown into hyperspace and b-i-i-i-g trouble...
Any game that attempts to be as addictive as Defender has to be damned good, and I'm happy to say that Anarchy definitely achieves that, and then some.
The graphical frills start right from booting up, and then the sound chip kicks in with a great heavy thumping rock track (just the thing to get the adrenalin going). Once into the game, you see exactly how much work has gone into this product.
The graphics are small, but unbelievably fast, with ultra-fast totally smooth parallax scrolling. After the first few plays, it may seem a bit over-difficult, but after a few more tries, you find it's that little bit easier to play, and that much more addictive.
The sheer quantity of animated stuff on-screen at once is simply astounding, and coupled with the amount of aliens, bullets and other stuff, it's enough to make the mouth water.
To be totally frank, this is Defender to the max. Miss the one, and regret it forever.