This month, we’re featuring a neat update of a landmark title! In the late 80s, arcades began to see throwback efforts and sequels, resurrecting old franchises with varying degrees of success. With home consoles now a viable option for gamers, the game development scene was starting to diversify and vary a lot. Around this time, Atari released Blasteroids, a psuedo-sequel to one of the most popular games ever: Asteroids.
While retaining the basic gameplay of Asteroids, Blasteroids introduced plenty of new elements, and took its sci-fi theme quite seriously. Players are treated to an immersive universe of spacey music and galaxy maps, complete with colorful planets and nebulae. Of course, there are asteroids, and they’re well-rendered here, looking realistic as they spin through each sector. Players clear sectors and select the next one to invade, contending with a field of rocks and a variety of enemy spaceships along the way. After clearing enough sectors, one must then contend with Mukor, a talkative green alien ghoul who floats menacingly much like Sinistar! He taunts the player and launches projectiles, but with enough shots to his tentacles he’ll escape to the next galaxy. Eventually, the player can defeat Mukor for a satisfying game completion screen.
Along the way, several powerups can upgrade the main ship’s shooting power, energy duration and speed, adding new elements to the game. A two player simultaneous option is also available, built in to the game’s unique cabinet. Blasteroids takes a cornerstone of classic arcade gameplay and updates it for the late 80s, complete with a top-of-the-line soundcard (for the time), and modern graphics. Give it a shot, you’ll find the sector selection screen strangely addictive!