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Vector game refers to any video game that uses a vector graphics display. This means, instead of drawing the image by pixels, the image is projected by an electron beam, drawing lines like a laser show. The term is also used to refer to games that simulate the look of vector graphics, nevertheless using raster technology, usually for stylistic purposes.
Many early arcade games used such displays, as they were capable of displaying more detailed images than raster displays on the hardware available at that time. Many vector-based arcade games used full-color overlays to complement the otherwise monochrome vector images. Other uses of these overlays were very detailed drawings of the static gaming environment, while the moving objects were drawn by the vector beam.
And no, Vectorman wasn't made this way.
List of vector-based arcade and console games:
- Armor Attack
- Battlezone 1980
- Black Widow ("twin stick" shooter like Robotron: 2084)
- Cube Quest is this for the most part. Unlike other examples though, this one also has laserdisc generated backgrounds.
- Eliminator (no, not that one)
- The original Play Station version of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile was predominatly a Sprite Polygon Mix, however the life meter for the bosses is rendered this way in full color.
- Lunar Lander
- Major Havoc
- Omega Race (The only one ever made by Midway)
- Pilotwings has graphics resembling this on the apparatus selection screen.
- Quantum (lesser known Atari game)
- Red Baron
- Rip Off
- Space Fury
- Space Wars (a coin-op version of the first true (?) video game, Space War)
- Star Castle
- Star Trek
- Star Wars
- The Empire Strikes Back (conversion kit for the above)
- Tail Gunner
- Vib Ribbon (Playstation game from Parappa the Rapper creator Masaya Matsuura; only released in Japan and Europe)