Space Canyon is an Atari 2600 game in which the player controls a Tactical Advanced Weapons Tank (TAWT) that is ambushed by the Polydites, a hostile warring faction, while patrolling Sighah Canyon. The player is trapped and must fight off the enemies attacking from above and closing in from both ends of the canyon.
Gameplay involves moving the TAWT back and forth within the blue area at the bottom of the screen, dodging missiles and returning fire to destroy enemy ships hovering above. Simultaneously, the player must watch for enemy tanks appearing from the left or right side of the blue area and destroy them with a laser blast before they reach the TAWT.
Joystick controls are as follows:
- Firing Missiles: Move the joystick left and right to position the TAWT, and leave the joystick in the center to shoot. Keep the red button depressed for continuous missile firing.
- Firing Laser Blasts: Move the joystick up or down while depressing the red button to fire laser blasts at tanks. Move up to fire to the left side and down to fire to the right side.
Scoring and game variations depend on the chosen difficulty level. Higher levels increase the number of enemy ships and tanks, as well as the value of each destroyed enemy craft. The player earns a new ship for every 20,000 points scored.
To succeed in Space Canyon, players should develop quick and smooth joystick control, such as the “left move, center fire, right move” technique for shooting missiles at enemy ships.