Arcade Gorf title screen shot.

Developers: Midway (Arcade)
Roklan (Home ports)
Publishers: CBS Electronics (Most home ports)
H. E. S., Polygram (Atari 2600)
Midway (Arcade)
Genres: Compilation, Shooter
Release date(s): 1981 (arcade)

1982-1983 (Home ports)

Number of players One player (Atari 2600)
2 players alternating (all others?)
Input methods 8-way Joystick, 1 Button
Platforms Arcade Game, Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit, Atari 5200, BBC Micro, ColecoVision,

Commodore 64, VIC-20

Gorf started out as a compilation arcade game with five mini-games included, all being fixed bottom of the screen shooters. The firing scheme was also unique at the time, with a "quark laser", which pressing the trigger on the joystick would cancel out the first shot and replace it with another one.

Gorf would be later ported to several computer platforms and video game consoles.


Astro BattlesEdit

At the very start of a game, a large Gorf robot appears at the top of the screen, which it moves very rapidly from one side to the other while spitting out invaders (as it is a bit of a Space Invaders clone). If a player is able to shoot the robot, it will continue distributing invaders. There are no bunkers like on Space Invaders, but rather a shield that covers a large area of the lower portion of the screen. Like with bunkers, though, invaders’ shots will poke holes in it. The shield disappears briefly with every shot the player takes. Other than that, the game plays like Space Invaders, where the aliens drop bombs while marching from one side of the screen to the other; once they reach the edge of the screen, they will drop closer to the player's laser base, dropping bombs the entire time.

Along with Gorf robots hopping across the screen, the U. F. O. from the original Space Invaders, as well as a second, differently-shaped bonus ship appears as well at times. Also, if a player’s ship gets destroyed with only two invaders (or less) left, the game will still advance to the next wave.

Laser AttackEdit

This game featured ships that would fire a laser that would make a very long path down the screen, along with having other ships (and small Gorf robots) that would peel off from their formations and make an attack run at players. If the player did not destroy a ship before it reached the bottom of the screen it would reappear at the top. The ships would move individually, peeling off from the formation, as well as the formation also moving very quickly at an angle to another area of the screen before pausing so the ships discharging the lasers could pause and fire a shot at the player.


This is a clone of Galaxian, where several rows of aliens would peel off from their formation and make a bombing run at the player's ship; if the player does not destroy an alien when it passes the player it will reappear at the top of the screen. There are fewer aliens during a wave than on the original, although there is the addition of the occasional Gorf robot appearing above the aliens.

Space WarpEdit

This game involves shooting ships that come out of a black hole that fire at the player while moving at a circular motion around the screen, which their path becomes larger and larger with each successive rotation. A series of dots surrounding the black hole indicates how many ships are left.

Flag ShipEdit

This is the final stage before the game starts over at a higher difficulty level. The player has to shoot through a shield first in order to begin attacking the flag ship. As the ship starts taking damage, pieces of debris fly off from the ship, which can destroy the player's ship upon contact, although the debris can be shot for points.

In any mini-game, colliding with any ship, Gorf robot, shot, debris, or point value left behind (on Laser Attack) will destroy the player's(/s') ship and the game will end if they have no more reserve ships remaining.

Additional FeaturesEdit

  • Gorf was one of the earlier games that talked. The player would also receive a rank, as each time a player made it through all five games their rank would increase.
  • The player could move their ship in several directions, as well as being able to maneuver around the bottom few inches of the screen (unlike with just moving left and right on Space Invaders and Galaxian).
  • Players’ ships would get destroyed by various enemy fire, craft, debris, and even the point values that briefly appeared onscreen on Laser Attack after enemy ships were destroyed.

Differences between versions/home portsEdit

All versions are missing the Galaxians game, since it would require a second license, as Namco originally made Galaxian.

Atari 2600Edit

No saucers or bonus Gorf robots appear on Astro Battles, as well as a shield. The invaders also look different, as one row is made up of small Gorf robots. There are far fewer enemy ships on the Laser Attack wave, plus their attack patterns are different and they move a lot faster. On Space Warp, there is no indication as to how many enemy ships are left and the player’s shots cancel out the enemy shots, which also occurs with the Flag Ship, which also has no shield, nor any debris when the player starts shooting it to pieces. The player also can only move left and right on all screens, not up and down or diagonally, and the game is for one player only.

Atari 5200Edit

Players can choose from several different skill levels. The second, different UFO in Astro Battles is a lot larger than on the arcade original. The shield on that level also doesn't allow players shots to go through, plus with the infamous 5200 controller, the player's ship darts around the screen very quickly and is hard to control.

Atari 8-bitEdit

During Laser Attack, the ships dive-bomb faster and have slightly different patterns (as sometimes they dive in a straight line, which they do not dive in a straight pattern in any of the other versions).

BBC MicroEdit

The player’s ship can only move left and right on all games. The first wave is called Space Invaders, which the invaders suddenly appear, with no Gorf robot putting them in place first. The invaders also look different, move independently (rather as one formation as on all other versions) and they are spaced out differently.

On Laser Attack, the attack patterns are different, there are no long-range lasers fired during the first round, and many of the ships stay still without attacking.

The Black Hole wave was rename to Firebird, which has no onscreen indication on how many ships are left.


The bonus Space Invaders saucer appears on several screens other than the Astro Battles wave, plus Astro Battles was slightly renamed to Astro Battle.

Commodore 64Edit

This version plays pretty closely to the arcade original.


The player’s laser base is much larger. In between each wave, a brief status screen appears that gives the high score and tells of the name of the next upcoming wave.

During Astro Battles, the Gorf robots come out much more often than on any other version. On Laser Attack, the flight patterns are different (the ships and Gorf robots mostly dive-bomb as an entire group at once) and is glitchy with the way the enemies jump around on the screen.

Pirated versionsEdit

Polygram made a version of Gorf for the Atari 2600 for the South America market. H. E. S. released a compilation cartridge entitled Mega Fun Pak in Australia, which it is assumed that one of the games on the cart titled Battles of Gorf is Gorf.


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