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If you've played Asteroids, you've played Space Duel. It's worth a try though, due to its colorful vector graphics.

You control a red, triangle-shaped ship of ambiguous type and can rotate it left and right. Other controls are for thrust, shields, and firing. Like many older shooter games, rapid-fire is limited by the number of shots allowed on screen.

The thrust obviously makes you move forward, and, like Asteroids, you'll keep drifting in that direction unless acted upon by an outside force. Go, Newton!

The shield protects you from impacts, but you can't fire with shields up. If you're clever, you can use the shield in conjunction with thrust as a way to move around the screen. Getting bumped by an object while you have shields up will send you cruising. Otherwise, though, all impacts with your ship cause a one hit kill.

Enemies in this game are colorful shapes of various sizes and configurations. Some die with one hit, and others, as in Asteroids, break up into smaller components, requiring follow-up shots. After clearing a screen, there are also bonus levels with limited time and no death penalty. During these bonus levels, a wall goes up around the screen's borders to prevent wrap-around.


A Space Duel arcade cabinet appears on the cover of rock band The Who's 1982 album It's Hard. It's appearance is meant to signify the evolution of the band, whose rock opera Tommy was about a deaf, dumb and blind child who was a master at Pinball. Space Duel appears as an modern analogy to Pinball.


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