Atari 2600 Friday’s #27 – Astroblast
The Story: You control a laser base and must shoot falling rocks and UFO’s to protect your bases. Once again a shooter for Atari doesn’t provide much story info in either the manual or box.
From the Manual: “Hit as many falling, fast-moving targets as you can. Move your laser base to avoid being hit yourself. Keep shooting as long as your bases last, and try for a great Peak Score!”
From the Box: “*For 1 player at a time – compete with friends for the best Peak Score!
*2 firing modes – 2 speed options.
*Shoot down a variety of fast-moving targets: falling meteors. spinning bombs, guided missiles – even a bomb-dropping UFO!
*he computer keeps score, and gives you more challenging game action the higher you go!
Use either PADDLE or JOYSTICK CONTROLLER(paddle id preferable) to play ASTROBLAST on your Atari Video Game System or Sears Video Arcade System.”
The Game Play: You start with 10 bases and get another when your peak score goes up by 1000. The higher your score goes the more things that fall you have to watch out for and the faster they fall. Like I said, the manual doesn’t offer much information this time, I guess they didn’t want to write too much for a generic shooter.
Falling objects to watch out for: Rocks, both big and small. Spinners, they cost you a base when they land. Pulsars, they are guided missiles that head towards your base. UFO’s, they show up once your score hits 20,000 and start dropping bombs.
The Controls: Left/Right movement. Red button fires, hold down to auto fire. Apparently the paddle will move your ship faster.
Post Review: Worst shooter I have ever had the experience of trying. Everything was falling so fast I could not stay alive more than a few seconds. I have lasted longer in ‘bullet hell’ type shooter games. First of all, the 10 bases are actually your ship. so that’s wonderful. at least the spinners move slow, but everything else is only on screen about 2 seconds. so dodge fast and watch out. it took me a moment to figure out in the chaos what falling object was what, but when you do you’ll know what to go for. Not every object costs you a base. I believe dying subtracts from the points you would have received for that life, sometimes resulting in zero. Thankfully you can’t have a negative score.
The High Score: either 0 or 925. it showed 0 after every death, but 925 was the highest number it shows after a game ended.