Defender was one of Atari’s most difficult games. It still finds itself on lists of most difficult video games ever. It was quite frustrating playing as a kid. I remember really liking it, but I’m not sure why. There were better (and easier) games around for a kid. It was a huge hit in arcades and quickly found its way to the Atari 2600, along with many other systems, like ColecoVision, Intellivision and Commodore 64.
The object was to defend a planet from alien invaders while protecting the inhabitants from abduction. If the player fails to protect enough inhabitants, the planet becomes overrun with mutants. The player is given three lives with the ability to earn more by reaching certain score levels. There seemed to always be a lot to keep track of while playing. It was certainly complex for an early eighties Atari game.