Bosconian is a free-roaming multi-directional scrolling shooter arcade game which was developed and released by Namco in Japan in 1981. In North America, it was manufactured and distributed by Midway Games. In contrast to the more linear shooter games from its time period, Bosconian allows the player’s ship to freely roam across open space which scrolls in all directions. The game also featured a radar, which tracks the position of the player’s ship, the formation attacks, and the space stations. It uses Namco Galaga hardware, but with a video system like that used in Rally-X. Bosconian went on to win the 1982Arcade Award for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Coin-Op Game in January 1983, beating both Atari Games’s Gravitar and Sega’s popular Zaxxon for the award.
The object of Bosconian is to score as many points as possible by destroying enemy missiles and bases. The player controls a small fighter ship that can move in eight directions, and can fire both forward and backward. Each round consists of a number of green enemy bases that must all be destroyed to advance to the next round (a semi-transparent automap helps identify their location). Each station consists of six cannons arranged in a hexagon, surrounding a central core. The player must either destroy all six cannons or shoot the core to destroy a station, and in later rounds the core is capable of defending itself (opening and closing while launching missiles).