Jump to content
louisg

SpaceMaster X-7 appreciation thread!

Recommended Posts

A buddy introduced me to this one, and I am blown away. I'd never even heard of it before, but it looks like the kind of thing I might have fired up for 2 seconds while flipping through ROMs. But spend some time with it, and it's pretty rad:

 

It's a Star Castle-like game, similar to Yars' Revenge, but plays quite differently. The goal of course is to shoot the core in the middle until it explodes, at which point you're confronted with another similar base, and so on. And like Yars' and Star Castle, it occasionally throws out defenses that hunt your ship down (and SpaceMaster has a good variety of these, unlike Yars'). But SpaceMaster X-7 differs in a few important ways: First of all, the shields surrounding the base continually expand and contract. And while you can't destroy the shields, they do have a notch that your ship or shots can pass through. In some levels, it's wise to get through the shield and point-blank the core. In others, patience pays off and it's better to sit on the outside and fire in when you have an opportunity.

 

But that's not where the twists end! Each base has a power meter. When the meter is high enough, the base will start building additional defenses to get through. Get the meter low enough and the base will absorbing those defenses it built in order to build its power meter back up. But if you hit the base's shield with a shot, that also recharges it! So, you have to aim well and can't just sit there spamming it with shots until you hit the core.

 

While I think Yars' might have more to it (especially Ultimate Yars' mode which has you running back and forth like it's a half-court basketball game), SpaceMaster is a worthy play IMO. It often gets overlooked, probably because it seems so abstract on first impression (like the similarly awesome Reactor), but I think if you give it a chance you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's one of my top 20 favorites, the sounds are done very well. Especially how each type of enemy drone has an unique sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like it. So what do we do in this thread? Post more Shatner?

 

That, or memories and strategies! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spacemaster X-7 is a great, underrated game! (The Atari has dozens and dozens of great, underrated games, which really goes against the "Atari shovelware crashed the industry" narrative, but that's a separate topic. :P )

 

I don't think I can contribute much in the way of playing strategies--generally I try to get through the shield and blow the thing away point-blank, until the game gets too fast for that--but I remember how happy my wife was when she found our copy at a Goodwill or someplace about 15 years ago. It was one of the rarest titles in our collection at the time. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely a hidden gem.

 

If you like, try the Track Ball version too!

 

Oh wow, that's super cool. I wish I had one; I've just got Amiga and ST mice unfortunately (and god knows where I put the ST stuff).

 

 

Spacemaster X-7 is a great, underrated game! (The Atari has dozens and dozens of great, underrated games, which really goes against the "Atari shovelware crashed the industry" narrative, but that's a separate topic. :P )

 

I don't think I can contribute much in the way of playing strategies--generally I try to get through the shield and blow the thing away point-blank, until the game gets too fast for that--but I remember how happy my wife was when she found our copy at a Goodwill or someplace about 15 years ago. It was one of the rarest titles in our collection at the time. :)

 

I fully agree on Atari hidden gems! Many games I play today I didn't even know about back when we first had our Atari. I'm especially impressed with the 20th Century Fox games. The first ones I discovered were both Turmoil and Fantastic Voyage, at my aunt's house. Years later, a friend showed me Towering Inferno. Then I find this. And Attack of the Beefsteak Tomatoes seems quite good too, though I haven't sunk much time into it. Quite a list of hits for a publisher that people don't seem to rank highly enough. IMO it should be listed in the same sentence with Imagic at least. I think part of discovering what's awesome on Atari is a matter of knowing which labels put out good games so you're not sitting there trying to squeeze any fun you can find out of Bugs ;)

 

Part of the Atari's rep among younger players also I think has to do with changing standards when it comes to what you expect from an arcade port. Back then, if you could get the gameplay anywhere in the ballpark, it was a good enough port! :)

 

Yeah, I wonder if anyone tries to point blank past the first 9 bases.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Oh wow, that's super cool. I wish I had one; I've just got Amiga and ST mice unfortunately (and god knows where I put the ST stuff).

 

There are also Amiga and ST versions included in the zip file. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are also Amiga and ST versions included in the zip file. :D

 

I totally need to grab that!

 

Also: Check this high score out. I got completely lost in the zone tonight, like I haven't done since Mars Matrix or something. Just totally locked in. And I hit this score:

SpacemasterScore.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember discovering it in the age of the internet and posting about it here. Since then I've pretty reliably touted it as an all time classic on the VCS

 

<edit> found it.. 2002 :lol:

Edited by NE146

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've come up with some tips on this game:

 

- The bases start absorbing their own shields once you get the energy low enough. For the later levels, the strategy is to hang out in one of the corners, and then move to the closest side of the screen as the perimeter shrinks and blast away. After the base absorbs its shields, you can more easily move inside to point-blank the core.

 

- The fact that you don't move while shooting is an advantage: Rapidly press the button to inch towards the core once inside the perimeter so that you can get as close as possible

 

- The homing enemies are easier to shoot if you let them pass you, then nail them while they're changing direction

 

- Since the base can only launch one defense at a time, if an enemy isn't bugging you (e.g., one of the snake-like ships that's bouncing mostly vertically), let it hang out as long as possible.

 

- On later levels, try slipping inside the perimeter on the left or right side while the perimeter is small but expanding.

 

 

I remember discovering it in the age of the internet and posting about it here. Since then I've pretty reliably touted it as an all time classic on the VCS

 

<edit> found it.. 2002 :lol:

 

Oh nice :) That's one of the greatest things about emulation and roms: We can discover so many new games from eras that we like which were just below the radar back in the day (if I may fit so many cliches into one sentence).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This game is absolutely fantastic and it surprises me that it isn't actually based off of an original arc ade machine as it certainly feels like that. The frantic blasting puts me in the mind of Robotron. It's fluid cool graphics and sounds just draw me in. I am tempted to actually build a cabinet for this game as though it were an 81' arcade game. Love love love it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah this is a good one. I like the Atari 8-bit version as well. It's got that frantic quality that a lot of great arcade games like Defender and Tempest had. It totally feels like an arcade port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...