Sega's pseudo-3D scaling technology was always miles ahead of everyone else's in the 1980s and it was the greater part of their arcade dominance during the time. Planet of Zoom doesn't look like a whole lot now, but for 1982 it's pretty damn impressive. Consider what else was released in 1982 - Ms. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Q-Bert and Joust were basically the cutting technological edge then.

It's basically like the primitive ancestor of the better-known Galaxy Force. You fly a spaceship through levels with looping backgrounds like a tunnel, outer space, a planet's surface ... well actually I think that's the only three levels, they keep repeating but add new enemies and obstacles sometimes. Buck does have one thing Galaxy Force couldn't manage to pull off - boss battles with a giant ship whose thrusters you have to shoot off!

The Buck Rogers license kind of goes to waste as there's no real mention or use of it. You're a generic spaceship dodging generic asteroids, fighting generic other spaceships, etc. Cover up the marquee and you'd never have any idea this was supposed to have anything to do with Buck Rogers. Oh well, it was 1982, companies were still learning how to handle licenses.
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