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Video Game / Astro Blaster

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"Fighter pilots needed in sector wars! Play Astro Blaster!"

Astro Blaster is a 1981 arcade game by Sega, in which you control a spaceship that must survive through at least four different alien attack waves and a meteor shower before attempting a docking with the mothership. While you are doing this, you must watch out not only for your fuel supply which is constantly dwindling, but also your laser temperature: fire too many shots for too long, and your laser can be temporarily deactivated.

It makes a cameo appearance in the Sega Dreamcast game Shenmue, but the machine has an "Out Of Order" label on it and is not playable.

It is currently available as a homebrew for the Atari 7800 from AtariAge.

This game provides examples of

  • Asteroid Thicket: The meteor shower at the end of each level.
  • Bullet Time: The Warp button gives you ten seconds to slow down the action that can only be used once per ship in each level.
  • Endless Game: Though the alien wave attack patterns vary, you keep on playing until you run out of fuel or ships.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: You can lose the game just by crashing into the mothership during the docking sequence.
  • Overheating: A critical element of the game is to watch your laser's temperature.
  • Robo Speak: One of the few arcade games of the time period that used voice synthesis, in this case sounding like the ship's computer.
  • Scoring Points: Besides scoring points for hitting alien ships and meteors, you also get special bonuses for how you complete levels and certain attack waves.
  • Shoot 'Em Up: Of the Space Invaders variety.
  • Timed Mission: The fuel gauge acts as your timer: run out of fuel before the level ends, and your game ends. Blasting fireballs in the meteor shower section can extend your fuel for a few more seconds.