This space-based shoot 'em up for the Atari 2600 is quite advanced for its time. It features several different screens, alternating between flying past planets and flying over the surfaces of planets. The more impressive, complicated part comes when you complete a level, either a fly through, or a fly over, and get to choose which stage you want to attempt next.

You are presented with a grid of 48 squares containing 'sectors.' You can move through some sectors, others are blocked by star clusters, and still others contain levels of different sorts. These levels consist of one of the following: wormholes, cobra fleets, Kogalon star pirates, corridors, blockaders, Zylon planets, Federation planets, attack groups, or flagships. You can also move to an adjacent screen by using one of the exit points located on each edge of the map.

The storyline, according to the booklet, is that the Zylons are attempting to take over the galaxy. You are the pilot in a StarCruiser and although your stated mission is to find the lost planet Solaris and rescue the Atarian Federation Pioneers there, you are really out to destroy the Zylons. That being said, once you fight your way through the different types of enemies on the 16 different screens and find the planet Solaris (the blinking planet, maybe the same planet in the eponymous novel by Stanislaw Lem), the game will end. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

Date: 1986
Rarity:2 Common+ / U
Model Number: CX26136
Programmer: Douglas Neubauer

References: Solaris Atari 2600 Game Manual