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Shoot ‘em up (also known as shmup or STG) is a subgenre of shooter video games. In a shoot ‘em up, the player controls a lone character, often in a spacecraft or aircraft, shooting large numbers of enemies while dodging their attacks. These types of arcade games were very popular when they were released in the 80’s.

Gravitar® is an arcade game that belongs to this genre. Released in 1982, this arcade game revolves around the concept of controlling a spaceship and attacking and killing your enemies.

The Gameplay

The gameplay revolves around the player controlling a small blue spacecraft. The game starts in a fictional solar system with several planets to explore. If the player moves his or her ship into a planet, he or she will be taken to a side-view landscape.  Unlike many other shooting games, gravity plays a fair part in Gravitar: the ship will be pulled slowly to the deadly star upwards and downward in the side-view levels.

In the side-view levels, the player has to destroy red bunkers that shoot constantly, and can also use the tractor beam to pick up blue fuel tanks. Once all of the bunkers are destroyed, the planet will blow up, and the player will earn a bonus. Once all planets are destroyed, the player will move onto another solar system.


The player has to keep shooting at the red bunkers. When all the bunkers are destroyed, the planet will blow up and the player will get a bonus score.

Difficulty Levels

Once all planets are destroyed, the player will move onto another solar system. The player will lose a life if he crashes into the terrain or gets hit by an enemy’s shot, and the game will end immediately if fuel runs out.

Interface and Controls

Gravitar® has the easiest interface and controls. Use the arrow keys to move the spaceship and the control button to attack the bunkers and the planets.

Gravitar® is an awesome game of finesse and skill. You’ll be addicted to the game once you start playing it.

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Gravitar® © 1982 Atari Interactive, Inc. ©2011 Atari and the Atari logo are registered trademarks of Atari Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved. Used under license.