Bosconian first landed in Japanese arcades back in 1981, with Midway Games and Namco later distributing the title in North America and Europe. It was developed with Namco's Galaga arcade hardware in mind and centered on destroying enemy space stations and crafts to score as many points as possible. To do this, players could shoot simultaneously from the front and back of their spacecraft, as well as move in 8-directions across a scrolling field of stars.
The game is often credited as being one of the first arcade titles to feature a Continue Screen and includes an early example of digitized speech (similar to Namco's 1980 arcade game King & Balloon).
Back when the game was released, it received a fairly positive reception from Western gaming outlets, with Electronic Games even awarding it the 'Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Coin-Op Game' in its 1983 arcade awards over Sega's Zaxxon and Atari's Gravitar. It later saw a bunch of ports to Japanese and European computers, as well as two sequels called Blast Off and Final Blaster.