Killer Satellites

Killer Satellites

Company: Starpath / Arcadia
Model #:
Kevin Norman
Year: 1983


Deadly killer satellites are raining destruction down on our planet and it's up to you to save the earth!  That about sums up the plot to Starpath's seventh game Killer Satellites.  Killer Satellites is a hybrid of Defender and Missile Command that sounds good on paper, but turns out to be a rather average, if nice looking, game in practice.  Still, it was a lot better than some the junk being put out by other companies at the time.


Your mission to fly around the earth (I guess the earth IS flat after all) shooting down any satellites before they strike the city below.  Thankfully these deadly satellites don't have any defense mechanisms other than falling rapidly.  Your biggest concern (at least at the lower levels) is accidentally running into the satellites, which happens way more often than you'd think.  Satellites come in eight different shapes (some of which are rather amusing looking), but all act the same.


At the top of the screen you'll notice that there's a radar to help you find where each satellite is hiding.  The radar shows each satellite as a large dot which must be scrolled towards the center in order to be seen.  To do this the player must simply fly in the direction of the dot until it shows up in the center area of the radar.  Above the radar to the right are two gauges representing your fuel supply and your laser heat.  Flying around takes up fuel which is only replenished at the end of each level, if you run out of fuel you'll crash so don't do that.  Each time you fire your laser you'll see your heat gauge go up.  Once this gauge fills up you'll be unable to fire for a bit until it cools down.  In order to avoid this you'll need to take a break from shooting every now and then.

Above the city you'll notice a little shield.  While you might think this will protect the earth from those killer satellites, you'd be wrong.  What this shield does do is protect the city from asteroids.  Asteroids will start raining down in addition to the satellites after the first few levels.  You cannot destroy the asteroids yourself (and they're deadly if you run into them), so you must let the fall and let the shield take care of them.  You have six lives in order to stop as many satellites as you can, but you'll earn an extra ship every 10,000 points.


Many players may find the game a bit too easy, especially at the lowest levels.  Thankfully Killer Satellites allows the player to skip ahead five levels with the select switch.  While level 1 may be suitable for small children, level 95 is basically too fast to play.  The trick is to try and find a comfortable starting level and begin from there.  The difficulty switches can also be used to further adjust the difficulty.  The left switch controls your ships max speed while the right switch controls your firing rate.


No one will deny that Killer Satellites is a pretty looking game.  Not only does it scroll smoothy, but there's tons of objects on the screen without an ounce of flicker.  The problem is that the game is very 'one note'.  Other than the addition of asteroids after a few levels, there's nothing new or exciting on the higher levels.  Sure the Satellites themselves speed up and are more numerous, but it still isn't enough to keep the game exciting after a while.  With just one or two more features Killer Satellites could have been a winner.


Version Cart Text Description
7/17/82 Killer Satellites
Very early WIP


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