Bedlam is like no other game. Coded by Bill Hawkins and designed by Tom Sloper in 1982 , Bedlam is refreshingly unique and combines fast tactics versus sheer menacing onslaughts of nasty aliens who will stop at nothing to inhabit their new found worlds. Entertaining Vectrex gaming.
Bedlam has 3 different stages the player can select, beginning at 1 and ending in 3. Level 1 sees the players ‘anti-molecular cannon’ acting as a device sending the invading aliens thousands of light-years away. The playfield consists of ‘galactic sectors’ which are star-shaped vectors that surround the players cannon which sits bang in the middle of the screen.
The player is given one smart bomb per level as he/she comes up against challenging enemies such as the encumbering ‘Escort ship’ and the persistent ‘Droids’ which circle your cannon making it terribly hard to get a decent shot at them. As the aliens encroach from different corners of the galactic sectors the player must fire his/her weapon and then turn around to shoot enemies which may be coming from other corners.
The result is pure mayhem and had it not been for the player having the ability to speed his/her cannon’s movement up with buttons 1 or 2 it would be nigh on impossible. As the player progresses from level to level the sectors begin to shrink, pulsate and in later levels even rotate. Luckily the edges of the sectors can be pushed back by firing at their corners which results in more precious time for the player.
All in all Bedlam is a fun if frustrating game which left me inspired with it’s depth of originality. Bedlam has cool ‘warping’ arcade sound effects when the sectors expand and its a shame all Vectrex games aren’t this original. Bedlam can be picked up occasionally on ebay for around $35.U.S.
Review written by Daniel Foot
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