The year is 2100, and you're the captain of a space cruiser, which is insightfully named Space Cruiser. Your mission is to pilot it through outer space, defeat the UFO onslaught that's headed straight for Earth, then teach those aliens a lesson they'll never forget by destroying their entire planet.
You know, you'd think that by the year 2100, we'd peacefully co-exist with aliens, but if video games have taught us anything, it's that UFOs are always hostile, cars may flip over but they never crash, and video games aren't the best place to go if you want to pick up any accurate information. Also, maybe the aliens wouldn't attack Earth if we stopped blowing up their homeworlds. Just something to think about.
Gameplay: Taking a page from Taito's classic Space Invaders, your space cruiser moves from side to side, and you can use your laser cannon to blast the UFO missiles right out of the sky. Once you master those controls and their associated skills, you're on your way to, uh, enjoying eight levels of totally not-tedious-or-repetitive, uh, action. If you get past them, you complete your mission by blowing up the aliens' home planet, then starting the process all over again. Ah, the joys of perpetual war!
Could be mistaken for: Galaxian, throwing quarters off a cliff, the Project For The New American Century
Kids today might not like it because: If they crash their ship into an asteroid, the game ends, regardless of how many lives they have left.
Kids today might like it because: The game starts out with a really cool cutscene, featuring the space cruiser's takeoff and jump to warp speed.
Enduring contribution to gaming history: Add Space Cruiser to the Smash TV family tree, because it was boasting a "continue" feature all the way back in 1981.
Wil Wheaton missed you all while he was gone. It's good to be back.