Blasteroids
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Atari
1987
GENRE:
Shooter
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Blasteroids is an example – like Smash TV, Rampage World Tour and Strike Force – of a later arcade game that updated a popular early 80s formula with improved graphics and more complex gameplay. Blasteroids takes the basic premise and gameplay of Asteroids and adds elements that were in vogue in the late 80s – pre-rendered 3D graphics, powerups, branching level structures and boss fights. These additions add more depth to the gameplay, but they also make it a fair bit easier to get into early on, as you can take multiple hits and replenish your shield in addition to grabbing more powerful weapons. The game also adds the ability to transform your ship into three different types (focusing on speed, armor or firepower) and allows two players to team up, including the ability to dock your ships together into a more powerful ship. Though you could argue these updates overcomplicate a game concept that has a certain purity and simplicity, Blasteroids has enough polish and a gentle enough difficulty curve that it’s fun even for people who don’t love Asteroids.

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