Monday, June 22, 2009


Beamrider is a classic Activision title from 1984. It was first released on the Mattel Intellivision and then Atari 2600. The graphics are quite outdated for a mid-eighties C64 game but for the Atari 2600, it was quite the perfect scrolling shooter. To me, it’s one of these games that are so simple they can only be good. All you have to do in this game is ride the beams and fire away at the invaders while avoiding the incoming spaceships and their projectiles.

To clear a level or sector, you have to destroy 15 alien ships (there’s a counter in the upper left). At the end of the level, some kind of mother ship (called a sentinel) floats around in the back protected by so-called green blockers. It can only be destroyed with a torpedo (you have 3 per level). To fire a torpedo, you have to push the joystick up (make sure that when you fire, there’s nothing between you and the sentinel since a torpedo destroys the first object it encounters and that’s it). The yellow thingy (called a rejuvenator) is not supposed to be shot at since it gives you an extra ship. There are supposed to be 99 sectors. Wow! That’s a lot.

As you can see in the video, I was not able to get the sentinel ship but that was a good try, I think.

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