Earth Defense Force (not that one) is this week’s Arcade Archives release

The ‘other’ E.D.F.

It’s shmup news a-plenty this week, as the latest Arcade Archives release from the retro fans over at Hamster is none other than Jaleco’s early ’90s endeavour Earth Defense Force, which is now available to download on Nintendo Switch.

Released in arcades in 1991, before later being re-imagined for the SNES, Earth Defense Force is a horizontally scrolling intergalactic shmup, set in that narrative staple of 20XX. Players pilot a state-of-the-art ship through a number of stages, taking on the invading Azyma Empire and its devastating master vessel, the Orbital Satellite Buster.

Check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber Martinoz.


In a new twist on many shmups of the day, Earth Defense Force not only allows the player to take several hits before expiring, thanks to a recoverable shield meter, but the game also features a pseudo-“leveling” system, in which the ship’s weapons become more powerful in proportion to the amount of enemies defeated.

Earth Defense Force is available to download now on Nintendo Switch, priced at $8.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors. Twitter: @ChrisxMoyse