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Spectar

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Spectar was a 1980 arcade game by Exidy depicting vehicular combat in a future world. It was a sequel to the arcade game Targ. The name Spectar is a portmanteau of the phrase 'special target' which was a development term for a new feature of the electronic hardware designed for this game.[citation needed]

Description

Spectar is similar to Targ, but with enhancements. Whereas Targ took place on a completely regular 10x10 grid, Spectar adds blockades so that the grid is not completely regular. In addition, the center of the grid has a number of twinkling dots or stars that the player can pick up. Clearly inspired by Pac-Man, this introduces a new mechanic to the game: in addition to finishing a level by destroying all enemies, the player can also finish the round by picking up all the dots.

And where Targ had a number of wedge shaped enemies and one "Spectar Smuggler", none of which shoot back at you, in Spectar, the enemies change shape every round (and are worth more points for shooting as the levels increase), and a second Spectar Smuggler is added, which fires at you. When the first smuggler appears on the board, the background sound changes, until all smugglers have been destroyed, in which it reverts to the first one (which is an electronic humming sound that resembles a car engine shifting gears as it accelerates).

There is also some graphical glitz in the display of the Crystal City itself. In Targ, the buildings on every level were featureless yellow blocks. In Spectar, each level has a different building design. The buildings are green, and some have an interlocking or 3d appearance, which can be quite disorienting to the player.

Whereas there was crafty artificial intelligence in the arrow-shaped crafts in Targ making the game very difficult, the enemy in Spectar is much easier to defeat, making Spectar a much easier game to play than its ancestor.

Legacy

In France, a version of this game was published by Jeutel under the title Phantomas. Bootleg versions of Spectar have been seen under the name Rallys.

In 2006, Scott Huggins ported a version of Spectar to the ColecoVision console.

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