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AstroBlast (M Network)




Ladies and gentleman it is time for a true classic, AstroBlast… Originally released on the Intellivision as AstroSmash by Mattel the 2600 port followed soon after. Normally I’d do a comparison review for something like this but in the case of AstroBlast there is no comparison, the 2600 version comes out the victor, here’s why. AstroBlast uses the Paddle controllers which are a huge step up from the INTV’s rather clunky control disks, allowing for smooth and fluid movement and more engaging gameplay, the game does have the option to use the standard joystick but the Paddle is recommended in the manual. While the graphics on the INTV version are undoubtedly superior, the 2600’s zoomed in perspective makes the game a bit more challenging and fun. With the zoomed in perspective you have less time to react to incoming objects which makes the game even more frantic without having to increase the difficulty. I guess that’s my issue with the INTV version, it’s just a bit too easy, and games can go on for a very long time, they even built in a pause feature because of this. With the 2600 version the games are short, frantic, and challenging, just what I want from a 2600 shooter. Copies are fairly common and you shouldn’t have any issue finding a copy in the wild for a couple dollars. But if you just can’t find a copy to save your life then they go for 4-10 dollars on Ebay with boxed copies going for 7-20 dollars. It’s just an excellent game to play in short bursts, and is everything that I need from a shooter.


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For me (felt this way BITD and still do), this is a case where maybe a "superior" version of a not_so_great_game on a system like the VCS gets overlooked or not worth playing when there's much better shooting games to be had. That said, I never play Astroblast, but will pop in Astrosmash once about every decade or so.  🤣

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