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I cannot find any references to this game so maybe someone here will recall it:

It was a full-sized arcade cabinet with an aircraft-yoke type controller with fire buttons on the tip of the yoke. I seem to recall rubbery handles on the yoke that looked like they came from a kid's bike handlbars. This controlled the player vehicle, which I seem to recall looking like a TIE fighter (or perhaps the enemies were?), turning it moved left and right and pushing into the cabinet moved upwards. There was a deliberate slowness in the motions to make it more difficult

The action took place in a moving graphic that looked like you were flying up the Death Star trench. But you weren't - the game was actually 2D although the perspective use was very clever such that it looked like you were above the surface of a rapidly rotating DS.

Enemies would approach from the sides near the top of the display, at the "horizon" of the trench, where they could not be shot. They would then enter and begin approaching you. You shot upward at them. I seem to recall they sometimes laid a barrier of some sort a-la Pleiades?

No, this is not any variation of Star Wars. This was a 3rd party product using a B&W television as the monitor. Unfortunately SW related games so polute Google I can't find any trace of it. This would have likely been in the 80/81 time frame.

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  • 1
    so it was black & white? Sep 14 at 19:22
  • maybe "Juno First" ? Sep 14 at 19:22
  • @Jean-FrançoisFabre - yes, the graphics were but there was an overlay. Good guess on Juno but no... this was far less advanced and the "movement" was continual in the background scrolling towards you. Sep 14 at 19:29
  • Starhawk, I think. Google "starhawk arcade game" to see if that's the one.
    – supercat
    Sep 14 at 20:14
  • 5
    "aircraft-yolk type controller".. Try "yoke" maybe. Controlling a game using egg innards is not very effective.
    – PcMan
    Sep 15 at 11:50
30

Yeah, I remember this arcade game, too. My brother was quite good at it, so I saw it a lot. Could it be Space Encounters?

It was a full-sized arcade cabinet with an aircraft-yoke type controller with fire buttons on the tip of the yoke. I seem to recall rubbery handles on the yoke that looked like they came from a kid's bike handlebars.

cabinet

This controlled the player vehicle, which I seem to recall looking like a TIE fighter (or perhaps the enemies were?), turning it moved left and right and pushing into the cabinet moved upwards. There was a deliberate slowness in the motions to make it more difficult

The action took place in a moving graphic that looked like you were flying up the Death Star trench. But you weren't - the game was actually 2D although the perspective use was very clever such that it looked like you were above the surface of a rapidly rotating DS.

screenshot

Enemies would approach from the sides near the top of the display, at the "horizon" of the trench, where they could not be shot. They would then enter and begin approaching you. You shot upward at them.

screenshot2

I particularly recall that the monochrome monitor was often covered in many cabinets by a colored transparent overlay, to make the walls and top of the trench appear a different color:

colored screenshot

It was a Bally-Midway arcade cabinet game produced in 1980. Uses an 8080 processor!

Not many pages out there; it's not even mentioned in Wikipedia. No wonder it is hard to find.

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  • 4
    That's it! Nailed it! I'm glad to see my brain is still working OK. Sep 14 at 23:07
  • 3
    It is emulated by MAME. I looked through screenshots of MAME games from 1980 in the hope of finding it (before your answer), but I missed it because the screenshots look like this. Somebody should update those.
    – benrg
    Sep 14 at 23:33
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    the frustrating fact is everytime you look for a game, you know it's in MAME but you can't possibly launch all MAME games to find it. Sep 15 at 11:57
  • 4
    MAME: The Library of Babel but for old games. Sep 15 at 12:15
  • 1
    Oh, and now it is mentioned on the Wiki: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Encounters 2 days ago

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