Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Blaster Series
aka: Math Blaster

Go To
Blasternaut throughout the years.

Edutainment Game series from The '80s through The New '10s created by the company known as Davidson & Associates, aimed largely at elementary schoolers, though a few have been aimed at middle schoolers. First there was Math Blaster and then Reading Blaster. Very briefly, there was Science Blaster, Geometry Blaster, Spelling Blaster and Word Blaster (don't ask how that last one is any different than Reading Blaster).

True to being both educating and entertaining, the Blaster series centered on an astronaut called Blasternaut (get it?) and his Robot Buddy Spot, a little blue droid. They worked for the Galactic Commander, who herself helped to run a federation-like organization that spanned the galaxy to apprehend criminals. Eventually Galactic Commander (or GC, as the others called her) joined the team. Their images changed rapidly - for example, Spot eventually became a robotic dog named MEL while G.C. became a 12 year old girl instead of a tall, green woman and Blaster became a 12 year old human boy instead of a green, astronaut-like man. This last version of the characters was featured in the Saturday-Morning Cartoon series Blaster's Universe, produced by Nelvana in 1999.

Please do not confuse with Learning Voyage, which is another Edutainment Game series Davidson worked on that features aliens and takes place aboard a space ship; the similarities end there.

Games with their own pages:

This series provides examples of:

  • Alphabet Soup Cans: Totally ubiquitous, of course. Wonderfully parodied in the ending cutscene of Math Blaster Ages 9-12. Blasternaut and G.C. are pretending they're leaving Spot behind for the purpose of an escape plan. Spot sobs, to stereotypical sad violin music, "What about all these years of solving math problems together? Did they mean anything to you?"
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In Master the Basics. Having re-established communication between the colonies in level 3, the control room sequences in level 4 now revolve around the planet elders, who are the only ones with the codes needed to destroy the Null-Ray Generators.
  • The Artifact: Galactic Commander's "name", if you can call it that. It made enough sense when she was Da Chief in In Search of Spot and Invasion of the Word Snatchers. When she's accompanying Blasternaut and Spot in Secret of the Lost City, mention is made of the fact that this is unusual. After that, however, she became Blasternaut's partner on all his adventures and didn't seem to be commanding anything, let alone the entire galaxy. She was nicknamed "G.C." around this time, probably at least partially to avoid drawing attention to this very problem. Then the 1999 Retool turned her into a 12-year-old and, yep, her name is still "Galactic Commander". Maybe Mr. and Mrs. Commander had ambitious plans for their daughter when they named her "Galactic".
  • Badbutt: Blasternaut and Galactic Commander.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: GC doesn't wear a helmet on her space suit.
  • Bird People: General Fishburn's secretary in Math Blaster Jr. is a bird-like alien.
  • Butt-Monkey: Spot showed occasional shades of this.
  • Camp Straight: General Fishburn from the "Jr." (or "Ages 4-6") games is very campy, but in Math Blaster Jr. we find out that he is attracted to a female alien.
  • Continuity Nod: One within the same game; Master The Basics had you disable a different part of the Null-Ray Generators on each difficulty level. Level 1 disables the force fields, Level 2 disables the electric fence, Level 3 re-enables the interplanetary communication hubs they were built on to get in touch with the planet elders, then Level 4 has Blaster and AIMEE using their codes to blow the generators to kingdom come.
  • Continuity Overlap: The 1999-era games were made to promote the Blaster's Universe cartoon series, so they both share the same continuity.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Spot. Mel takes on this role later on.
  • Difficulty Levels: The games generally have three or four difficulty levels.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Blasternaut doesn't appear in the 1983 Math Blaster game, as he wasn't created yet. He makes his debut in 1987's Math Blaster Plus.
  • Escort Mission: The control room sequences of Master The Basics. Blaster projects his shield onto the planet delegate/elder in order to protect them long enough to disable the current difficulty’s obstacle. The chamber robots have multiple equations that must be checked against a static equation for equivalents, then targeted correctly to disable them until your ally loops back around through the door.
  • Evil Is Hammy: All of the villains seem to like hamming it up.
  • Evil Laugh: Dr. Minus, the Trash Alien, the Geometrons, Terrible Monkey King and Gelator all do this at least once.
  • Extra Eyes:
    • Both the Trash Alien and Gelator have three eyes.
    • So do Gelator's parents.
  • Fetch Quest: The three crystals in Mega Math Blaster, the Medallions of Prosperity in Ages 9-12 and the Dimension Machine pieces in Geometry Blaster are collected by completing the various stages in the respective games.
  • Floating Platforms: Pretty ubiquitous throughout the series. Math Blaster Ages 9-12 has platforms that double as hazards in addition to the regular ones.
  • Gamebooks: Reading Blaster 2000 features three stories that function like this. Every five stars you earn, you get another chapter.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: GC's appearance in the early and mid-1990's.
  • Intangible Theft: In the first Reading Blaster, Illitera steals all language from the planet Earth.
  • Kid Hero: The 1999 incarnation of the Blasterpals.
  • Large Ham: Dr. Zero, the redheaded Enfant Terrible in Math Blaster Ages 7-9 (1999).
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: In the "Junior" (or "Ages 4-6") games especially.
    Blasternaut: Get back... Four. Green. Jewels.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Zero in Math Blaster Ages 7-9 (1999).
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: One male voice actor provided voices for all male characters in (at least) the 1993-era Math Blaster games. His name is Mark Sawyer. None of the voices sound similar to each other in the slightest.
  • Medium Blending: The gameplay of Math Blaster Ages 7-9 (1999) is entirely CGI.
  • Punny Name: Max Blaster = Math Blaster.
  • Shout-Out: At the beginning of Math Blaster Ages 7-9 (1999), the heroes are watching a pastiche of Tom and Jerry on TV.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Blasternaut and GC in their classic designs.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: All of the games in the main series after In Search of Spot use 3D graphics to one degree or another. Mega Math Blaster onward use a mix of 3D backgrounds and traditionally animated characters for cutscenes and the 2012 incarnation is fully 3D. Generally averted with most of the other games, though. Geometry Blaster actually justified it by having the objective be returning three-dimensionality to a world that was being converted to two dimensions.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In Junior/Ages 4-6, Blasternaut hosts a whack-a-mole style game where your mouse turns into a mallet that you use to whack creatures called Pesters that have stolen the treasure of the planet Countalonia. You're meant to whack the Pesters, obviously, but you can smack Blasternaut himself with the mallet as well.
    (PUNG!) "WHOAAA! Don't hit me!!"
  • Video Game Remake: Spelling Blaster was reworked into Reading Blaster Ages 6 - 8, with the post-1999 versions of the Blaster pals replacing the original versions.
  • Where It All Began: In Master The Basics, going through all four quadrants on Pluto, Saturn, and Earth, and wrapping up a skirmish with Cyclotron X to disable his tractor beam on the power satellite, Blaster and AIMEE loop back around to Pluto to deal with the next obstacle concerning the Null-Ray Generators. Cue next difficulty.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Dr. Zero does this in the intro for Math Blaster Ages 7-9 (1999).

Alternative Title(s): Math Blaster, Reading Blaster