Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Atari's RoadBlasters -Atari Lynx
Retro Gaming Review

Atari Lynx console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewAtari's RoadBlasters for Atari Lynx Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: RoadBlasters
Manufacturer: Atari
Platform: Atari Lynx
Release Date: 1990
Part #: PA2036
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Atari's RoadBlasters Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Atari's RoadBlasters Screenshot:
Atari's RoadBlasters for Atari Lynx screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

RoadBlasters was released to arcades in 1987 as a futuristic driving game from Atari. It was available in upright and a slick sit-in model. Like many popular arcade games, it was ported to several home consoles & computers in addition to the Atari Lynx.

It's a shame this game didn't see follow-ups after it's initial release. Driving games are always popular... more so when you can shoot at the other drivers ;)

Both the arcade upright and sit-in models featured steering wheel control with dual buttons on the wheel. This control scenario is awesome for arcade play, but most consoles couldn't replicate the wheel and replaced it with a joystick. The lynx does the same using the d-pad for steering as well as acceleration and braking. The A button fires your primary weapon and the B button will activate any special weapon you may have.

RoadBlasters Story Arc

A war was coming and tensions had been building between rival factions in the government. Nuclear weapons devastated the surface of the planet. Death Squads were intent on controlling the planet. When it was over, only a handful of people remained. A few good people, and thousands of Death Squad members. They had cars that could withstand the highest levels of radiation and the most dangerous heat. They also had huge stockpiles of food and medicine that would keep them alive until the nuclear winter ends.

A scientist saw what was happening and defected from the Death Squads. He brought with him a small prototype vehicle and weapons capable of destroying Death Squad cars. Only one person can fit in the prototype, and you were chosen. Posing as a Death Squad driver you join a road rally, hoping to drive undetected into the Death Squad territory. All hope for a decent future rests on your shoulders.

Holy shit! Check this out...
RoadBlasters' sit-in model featured a lens over the monitor to simulate a larger screen. it was the last of the Atari System 1 games to be manufactured. For a limited period after the game's release, players could win a free Atari T-shirt by completing all 50 levels.
The game had a toy tie-in made by Matchbox. The die-cast cars could be customized with armor, lasers, machine guns, rocket launchers and jet engines. There were two forces: Turbo Force and The Motor Lords.

RoadBlasters Game Play

Get ready for combat racing! Your goal is to complete a 50-level road rally into Death Squad territory. While shooting at Death Squad drivers, avoid crashing and running out of fuel. The Lynx joypad controls your steering and speed - up to accelerate and down to brake.

Your score is based on your shooting accuracy. Whereas you could shoot infinitely in games like Spy Hunter, such actions will decrease the multiplier as you fire on other cars. Take them out, but don't be wasteful with ammo.

Your car is powered by radioactive fuel that must be frequently replenished. Keep your eyes peeled for green and red fuel globes. Colliding with them will boost your fuel level. You must also watch for cannons, mines, and other hazards. Jets periodically fly over your car and drop power-up weapons. Catch the special auxiliary weapons for increased power. You can only have on auxiliary weapon, so be careful not to catch new ones, if you want to keep your current weapon.

You'll quickly realize that this combat driving game is more akin to a shooter that a driver. You are part of a road rally, but being in first place isn't the object - I'm not even sure if that's possible. Your goal is to survive with minimal damage and high accuracy shooting. Other cars are obstacles- either destroy them or avoid them. Knowing which way to react is part of the strategy.

Atari Lynx console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Atari's RoadBlasters

is a fun game on the lynx. There are plenty of things that wrestle for your attention to keep things interesting. The game is fast and you have to watch for enemies and your fuel supply... among other things. It's a cool game with a lot of interesting options and diversions.

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