Single Credit Review 005 – Reactor – Arcade

1982 – Gottlieb

In Reactor, “A Skelly Game”, you control a flashing ship that you can vibrate to increase it’s intensity. You use this intensity to push positrons, photons and other objects into the lethal walls surrounding you. As time goes on the reactor in the center of the screen grows in size and pushes not only your ship, but the enemies as well. There are also two pockets within the walls that can be used to trap an enemy for extra points.

The attract screen gave me some information on points and enemy names, but I needed to quickly figure the controls out upon hitting start as Reactor is nonstop action. The technique I used was staying close to the center, circling the Reactor, which pushed the enemies into the wall. When the Reactor core became too big, I would move to one of the corner pockets to avoid death. As the levels progressed, the enemies became harder and could not be destroyed as easily. There is also a spot in each side that says cooling on it, however I never was able to hit all of them with enemies. I assume it shrinks the core back down.

You can also place a decoy ship which causes the enemies to swarm on it, giving you a chance to plan the next strategy. I think placing the decoy near the cooling spot, after the core expands, is the key to activating it. Also, after trapping one of the enemies in one of the pockets it ended up closing. This will add a kink in my plan to hide out in the openings when the core becomes to large in later levels.

– Pros –
– Single screen arcade
– High score possibilities
– Tight controls

– Cons –
– Difficulty ramps up quickly, but not impossibly
– No music?

– Single Credit Synopsis –
Overall, Reactor is a fun single screen arcade game that I found myself really enjoying. I was able to do a decent run on my first credit, barely breaking the machine set high score. The deaths I had were completely avoidable so it makes me want to go back to it for another romp. I definitely recommend this game to all the high score junkies out there.

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