Road Blasters

Road Blasters

Retro Coin Op Synopsis

Pole Position met Mad Max in Atari’s Road Blasters, a game that combined the best of racing and shooting into one adrenaline-fueled package. With 50 levels of combative racing and four add-on weapons, the game had players sweating laser bullets as they raced to glorious victory or flaming defeat.

You controlled an armored red sports car, which was decked out with a standard laser blaster and unlimited ammo. That firepower was needed to deal with the other road hogs blocking your way to the game’s race-ending “rally points.”

Enemy “Stinger” sports cars were the most common threats, but on higher levels, players had to deal with tough-skinned Command Cars, speedy Cycles and pesky Rat Jeeps. And these were just the moving enemies…Road Blasters also had its share of mines, toxic spills, “spiker” floating explosives and roadside gun turrets. With so many obstacles between your car and the checkered victory lane, you were often finished off well before the finish line.

The enemy may have had more troops, but you had much cooler firepower. Every so often, a support jet would fly past in the sky above and drop a special package for your battle-weary vehicle. Four power-ups were available, each with only a limited use: the U.Z. Cannon delivered rapid-fire shots from the top of your car; the Nitro Injector gave a burst of added speed; the Electro Shield protected you from harm; and the potent Cruise Missile delivered a nuclear-like strike, obliterating all enemies in sight.

The only way to lose a game of Road Blasters was to run out of fuel before making a rally point or an intermediate check point, where extra fuel would be awarded. Crashes didn’t cost lives; they merely slowed you down, but precious fuel was lost in the process. To keep the twin tanks (main and reserve) stocked up, you could also drive over red and green fuel globes, which gave you a bit of extra stock.

As an added incentive for gamers (who still hadn’t fully warmed up after the 1984 video game crash), Atari offered a free T-shirt to every player who made it though all 50 levels of Road Blasters. A promotional tie-in with Matchbox toy cars was another draw, but with such entertaining and addictive gameplay, these extras were mostly unnecessary. Road Blasters didn’t revolutionize the video game world, but it was another step on the road back to the arcade’s glory days.

Arcade Machine Release History

1987 - Road Blasters

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