Do you think Niven got royalties?
This week’s Arcade Archives entry is a particularly curious case, as publisher Hamster has reached right back into the dawning days of the coin-op era to present us with Namco’s Navarone — Now available to download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Released way back in 1980 — the same year that Namco would blow the whole scene wide open with its seminal release, Pac-Man — Navarone is a single-screen shmup that tasks the player with circling a battlefield, blasting away at gun encampments and debris in an effort to destroy the central base located at the center of the screen. It is similar, in a fashion, to titles like Atari’s Centipede, although it offers more in the way of return fire, as well as movement across three sides of the game screen.
Check out the exceptionally old-school action below, courtesy of Old Classic Retro Gaming.
Beautifully, the title attempts to sell the title as an adaptation of sorts to J. Lee Thompson’s legendary 1961 movie The Guns of Navarone, itself an adaptation of Alistair MacLean’s 1957 novel. One can only assume that this was not, however, an officially licensed Columbia Pictures product, which may go some way to explaining why Navarone would not receive a release outside of Japan. Besides, once Pac-Man Fever gripped the planet, the lo-fi thrills of Navarone would quickly fade into the background.
Navarone is available to download now on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s and writing about them since the 1880s. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse