Vanguard (1981)

by Nish
5 minutes read


Vanguard: A Vertical Scrolling Shoot ‘Em Up Classic

Released in 1981, Vanguard is a vertical scrolling shoot ’em up arcade game developed by SNK and released by Centuri. The player controls a spaceship that must defeat waves of enemy ships and other obstacles in order to progress through five different zones to the City of Mystery, where the creature Gond awaits.


Vanguard is a vertically scrolling shoot ’em up in which the player controls a spaceship that can move in all four directions. The player’s ship can fire in any of the four directions, but doing so causes the ship to move in that direction as well. This can be a challenge, as the player must be careful not to crash into obstacles or enemy fire.

The game is divided into five zones, each with its own unique set of enemies and obstacles. The player must defeat all of the enemies in a zone in order to progress to the next one. The zones become increasingly difficult as the player progresses, with faster and more powerful enemies.

In addition to defeating enemies, the player can also collect power-ups that grant them temporary invincibility or other bonuses. These power-ups can be very helpful in surviving the game’s more difficult sections.

Graphics and Sound

Vanguard’s graphics are simple but effective. The game’s backgrounds are colorful and detailed, and the enemy ships are varied and well-animated. The game’s sound effects are also well-done, with each weapon and enemy type having its own unique sound.


Vanguard was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its innovative gameplay, challenging difficulty, and excellent graphics and sound. The game has been ported to a number of home platforms over the years, and it remains a popular classic among shoot ’em up fans.

Gameplay Tips

Here are a few tips for playing Vanguard:

  • Use the invincibility power-up wisely. It can be very helpful for getting through difficult sections of the game.

  • Be careful not to crash into obstacles or enemy fire. This is the most common way to lose a life.

  • Try to collect as many power-ups as possible. They can give you a significant advantage in battle.

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different strategies. There is no one right way to play Vanguard.


Vanguard is a classic shoot ’em up that still holds up today. It’s a challenging and rewarding game with great graphics and sound. If you’re a fan of shoot ’em ups, then you owe it to yourself to check out Vanguard.

Additional Information

  • Vanguard was one of the first vertically scrolling shoot ’em ups.

  • The game was ported to the Atari 2600, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum home computers.

  • Vanguard was followed by a sequel, Vanguard II, in 1984.

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