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Roadblasters

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Released: 1987

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Atari

Submitted by: Stuart Hunt

When I was a sprog, my Dad toured in various bands, so I grew up around clubs, function halls and ballrooms that in those days had arcade cabs a plenty. When I first started mincing round arcade machines, I was almost too small to play most of them – I remember warmly my Dad having to lift me up to reach the joysticks. It didn’t stop me trying though when I was that little bit taller and able to play alone, once the intimidating big boys (who were probably only about ten, but at the time looked like Tyson) had finished playing properly I would pop a ten pence into Dragons Lair and die, then another ten into Star Wars and then die, and another into Joust, then die before finally running out of pocket money. It was a kick in the teeth, but I kept coming back for more. I was just too enticed, excited and seduced by the flashing lights.

There was one cab that went easy on me, and that was Roadblasters by Atari. Not only was this game pretty simple to pickup and play, you had a steering wheel that nicely controlled a superbad looking future car thingie, but this car, and the game moved faster than anything I had ever played. So firstly, I’m pumped with adrenaline at the sheer velocity the game, when I find within moments of tearing the tarmac that the car I’m driving, has a freaking machine gun! “I can destroy whatever’s in my way! Awesome!!” and then to put a cherry on top of the cake, or in this case, a power up on top of the car, weapons would drop down, and land on top of you like a cannon, cruise missiles, nitro engines, and the highly useful Electric force field.
It’s simplistic gameplay made me feel creadable in the arcade, as I got better with practive, and always got my moneys worth. Roadblasters dosnt give me the buzz it used to all those years ago but it’s still a highly satisfying play today. Think Outrun with missiles

Roadblasters

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Released: 1990

Genre: Racing

Format reviewed: Atari Lynx

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Atari

Submitted by: Darran Jones

In the space of ten profiles I've already revealed some of the Lynx's best arcade conversions, but it's now time to show off the best of the lot.

Roadblasters is not only the Lynx's best arcade conversion – no small feat in itself – but it's also one of the best games on the system full stop. Brilliantly programmed to squeeze every last drop of juice out of Atari's handheld, Roadblasters is a superlative effort that looks stunning, captures the arcade game perfectly and runs like crap off a proverbial shovel.

While the above screenshot will give you a good indication of just how lush Roadblasters looks, it gives you no indication as to how fast the damn thing is when it moves. Like S.T.U.N. Runner, Roadblasters is a sickeningly fast adrenalin rush that's more addictive that those nasty substances Frank is always warning you about, and will be enjoyed by adrenalin junkies everywhere.

Granted the limited gameplay – race for as long as possible by grabbing fuel orbs and blowing up anything that gets in your way – isn't going to appeal to everyone, but those that do fall under Roadblasters' hypnotic spell are going to be very happy indeed. A defining Lynx game that should be experienced by every owner.