Typically we don't cover Android and iOS gaming apps, but this seemed like an exception: Zaxxon Escape. Old-school gamers might instantly recognize the Zaxxon name, as it is one of Sega's "oldest of old-school salvos" in the arcade wars of the early 1980s.
"Thirty years ago, the first wave of arcade fever was hitting America," Sega said in a blog on Monday. "A communal electronic experience unlike anything else, early arcade cabinets would bind a generation of kids together as shorthand for their shared experiences with an emerging art form (even if back then, no one wanted to call it that)."
Zaxxon was a unique, isometric science fiction shooter that really only had two objectives: shoot as many enemies as possible, and don't run out of fuel. Players pumped in their quarters and piloted a starship through a fortress while fighting off enemies. Sega said it was the very first game to use axonometric projection (hence Zaxxon name), and the first to use shadows to indicate the ship's altitude from the surface.
"The best games had to be hard enough to take in money, but fun enough that you’d want to keep coming back," Sega said. "Zaxxon was indeed painfully difficult, but wanting to fly a starship against an alien horde is one of the most primal forces known to humankind."
After it stormed the arcade scene, Zaxxon went on to invade home computer and game consoles between 1982 and 1986. Platforms included DOS, the Atari 2600, Commodore 64, Intellivision and more. Zaxxon also reappeared in several recent console collections, and even became a download through the Wii Virtual Console back in 2009. But after all that time, Super Zaxxon and an actual board game were the only official additions to the franchise.
Until now, of course. "Now, we are proud to announce the return of Zaxxon – or more appropriately, the escape: Escape From Zaxxon is coming soon to iPhone, iPad, and Google Play device," Sega said. "The all new game follows in the arcade footsteps — a fast-paced game to challenge your skills and take command of the Zaxxon ship all over again."
The difference this time is that the view will be third-person instead of isometric, putting the player right behind the Zaxxon ship as it darts through the alien vessel. Unfortunately, Sega didn't announce a release date or price for Zaxxon Escape, but did offer a teaser trailer to keep old-school gamers busy until the new sequel goes live.