This month, two very different games face off in our “Clash of the Classics” competition for a spot on our arcade floor: The post-apocalyptic action-racer RoadBlasters, and the bright & bubbly puzzle game Bust-a-Move!
The action is simple in Atari’s 1987 classic RoadBlasters: Step on the pedal, don’t crash, and keep your tank full of fuel as you blast enemies in your way. Set in a distant future, your racer continues down a path towards the horizon as enemy vehicles attack, and cannons fire at you from the sidelines. Floating green and red orbs give you fuel, adding to your main tank and your reserve tank. You can crash and burn over and over, but you’ll lose precious fuel (and time), and if you run out before you cross the finish line, it’s game over. Halfway through each level, a checkpoint will refill your main tank to its starting level, to help you make the final push. Occasionally, a mysterious ally will fly overhead with a weapon power-up, and you must steer to collect it. A well-designed Atari System 1 title with graphics that are still impressive, RoadBlasters is a great game evocative of Spy Hunter, and it even spawned a Matchbox toy line that tried to add a bit of story and character to its world!
Fans of Bubble Bobble will immediately feel at home with Bust-a-Move, the 1994 puzzle game that brought Bub and Bob’s bubble-bursting to a new genre. Players are faced with a screen full of colored bubbles, and they must clear the playfield as quickly as possible by shooting them with matching colors. Another game that appears pretty straightforward upon first glance, Bust-a-Move (originally released as Puzzle Bobble in Japan) offers deeper strategy once you get the hang of it. Bounce bubbles from the walls to hit ones you can’t strike straight-on, and try to knock bubbles down by bursting clusters they’re hanging from — you can clear a level in seconds with just a couple of shots! Taito created a successful franchise with this unassuming game with Bust-a-Move appearing on many platforms, but nothing’s as satisfying as the arcade experience!
So, do you prefer to drive Mad Max-style into the digital sunset, or do you want to pop bubbles with a pair of prehistoric pals? From Thursday November 5 through Wednesday November 11, drop quarters in your favorite game and help us decide which game stays, and which game goes! After the end of the competition, we’ll announce the winner and give you a few more days to play the one that’s making an exit. Clash of the Classics starts… now!