Entex Defender Arcade VFD Game!

Released in 1982 by Entex Electronics.  Model #6088

Entex did a fairly decent job porting that arcade game Defender into an VFD game format.  It has the gameplay and all the controls from the arcade plus another interesting feature called the “Game Speed Control” dial.

The Game Control Speed dial allows you to adjust the speed of the game as you play.  Do you want more of a challenge? then turn the speed dial up!   The tabletop game features 2 skill levels and the ability to turn the sound off for those days you want to covertly play Defender.  If the landers get all your people, you end up in space full with mutant landers just like the arcade game.   There is also a demo mode (Hold down the fire button while turning on) that will go through all the graphics and then start to play by itself.

The controls are laid out nicely and are easy to use.  On the left side of the game you have the Up, Down, Reverse and Hyperspace buttons.  While on the rights side you have The Game Speed Control, Thrust, Fire, Smart Bomb and Start.  I find holding the game in your hands and using your thumbs works best than playing it sitting on a table.

The play field looks extremely nice with the Defender logo at the top and a cool star field surrounding the play area.  The game uses 4 “C” sized batteries or a 6 volt power supply.

The game play has been translated somewhat well.  You can fly over the landscape just like the arcade, however you shot distance is limited.  This also corresponds to the Smart Bomb when you use it.  Only the landers in the center area will be affected by the Smart Bomb.  Hyperspace speeds your ship up to pass through enemies, and it does come in handy!  The sound effects are very well done with cool intro music, game play sounds and the game over tune!


  1. VFD Screen!
  2. Nice artwork!
  3. Nice sound effects
  4. Great packaging!
  5. Responsive control
  6. Demo Mode!


  1. Limited area on screen to shoot

Overall, I really like this adaptation of Defender.  If you like VFD games like I do, this is  one to add to the collection!

Rating: (4 out of 5 Minicades)

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