Galaxy Force was one of the first Sega games to use the Sega Y Board, which allowed for even flashier effects and better sprite-scaling than their earlier Super Scaler boards, which had been used to create hits like Space Harrier, OutRun, and After Burner. The player's ship could enter enemy bases and fly around enclosed corridors, turning left and right when the game required it. These sequences closely resembled the Death Star assault in the movie Return of the Jedi.
The arcade deluxe sit-down version came on a large circular platform that can rotate 335 degrees left and right, and has a seat than can incline 15 degrees forward and back, physically simulating the movement of a space ship for the first time in the arcades.
Sega later ported the game to its Master System and Genesis consoles. The game was also released for many other consoles and home computers as well. These versions lacked the technology of the arcade cabinet and are, to varying degrees, considerably less impressive than the original.
An updated version called Galaxy Force II was released just months after the original.