It’s the new games mega blast! From arcade classics to 8-bit legends, these are some of the stars of Antstream Arcade that have debuted on the platform this August. Want something super fresh to play, for free, on Antstream Arcade, the easy-access platform for retro gaming? This quick and painless guide is here to help you.
Beast Busters – Arcade
The undead hordes have invaded the city! Playing as one, two or three brave militia members, you must fight your way past the zombie mass to escape this nightmare. This gory and frenzied on-rails shoot-‘em-up is a hectic storm from start to finish. Think Operation Wolf meets Splatterhouse, which are both also available on Antstream Arcade!
Ant-Fact: The success of Beast Busters inspired a sequel – nine years later! – called Beast Busters: Second Nightmare.
Ant-Tactic: Don’t forget to shoot the power-ups throughout the mayhem – you can boost your rockets, grenades, health and armour by picking them up.
Ant-ernative: We have a host of first-person arcade shooters on Antstream Arcade. Try Operation Thunderbolt or Battle Shark, for starters.
Molemania – Spectrum
It’s time for some Sinclair ZX Spectrum action with the debut of this cute burrowing game from Hektic Software. Mike The Mole is digging for juicy pink worms – guide him through the dirt to find the snacks, avoiding the pesky ants and deadly spiders. This fun and easy 8-bit game is new to Antstream Arcade and an excellent addition to our Spectrum roster.
Ant-Fact: Molemania’s author, Nigel Stuart, reused its themes for his 1986 game, Anteater.
Ant-Tactic: While the ants don’t harm Mike The Mole directly, eating one sends him scurrying crazily across the screen.
Ant-ernative: Take a spade to Namco’s legendary Dig Dug for more digging exploits.
Blow ‘Em Out – SNES
August brought another homebrew SNES game to Antstream Arcade with the debut of this candle-blowing arcade game from Second Dimension. This single-screen adventure takes place over ten increasingly-complex birthday cakes, each laden with candles. You have to blow each one out to proceed, but irksome fireballs keep re-igniting them. What a pain! Nevertheless, Blow ‘Em Out is one sweet and tasty game.
Ant-Fact: Blow ‘Em Out originates on the Nintendo Entertainment System as part of its developer’s ‘holiday’ collection.
Ant-Tactic: Be careful not to overpress the movement controls – these cakes are slippery!
Ant-ernative: For more cartoon puzzling, there’s Push-Over from Ocean, also on Antstream Arcade.
Banishing Racer – Gameboy
We remain with Nintendo but switch platforms to the handheld Gameboy for our next new game. Banishing Racer is a platformer at heart, only with a twist: you control a car! As the car moves right, enemies and obstacles will appear, and these can either be jumped over or avoided using the nifty speed boost mechanic. This retro platform game from Jaleco is a joy to play yet tricky to master.
Ant-Fact: For reasons only known to Jaleco, Banishing Racer never saw release outside Japan.
Ant-Tactic: Mastering the boost is key to success in Banishing Racer. And if you manage to jump on four enemies without touching the ground, you get an extra life.
Ant-ernative: Take a spin to Happyland with the cheerful arcade game Joyful Ride.
Our Amstrad catalogue swelled in August with the addition of this tremendous shoot-‘em-up from coder Raffaele Cecco and publisher Hewson. The pirates from Cybernoid are back, and the Federation has asked you once more to take the fight to them and retrieve some of its stolen plunder. Colourful, entertaining and catchy, Cybernoid II is another fine Amstrad game on Antstream Arcade.
Ant-Fact: Author Raffaele Cecco detailed the making of Cybernoid II in a monthly column for Crash magazine.
Ant-Tactic: Don’t forget to switch to certain weapons when needed. For example, only a seeker missile can safely destroy the turret on the second screen.
Ant-ernative: The original Cybernoid is also available on Antstream Arcade.
Cosmic Cop – Arcade
This space shooter takes place in the same universe as the legendary R-Type series. Also known as Armed Police Unit Gallop, it’s another horizontally-scrolling shoot-‘em-up that boasts all the incredible visuals and hyperactive gameplay of the main series. Unusually, the player’s position on the screen adjusts the scrolling speed – wander too far to the right, and the level will soon be zipping past!
Ant-Fact: In the plot of Cosmic Cop, the player is on a mission to eliminate vehicles driven insane by the villainous Bydo.
Ant-Tactic: Make sure to pick up the P and L power-ups – these amplify and recharge the Peace Maker’s energy weapon, which is crucial in the game’s challenging boss fights.
Ant-ernative: Play both R-Type and its sequel on Antstream Arcade.
Dodge ‘Em – Atari 2600
Inspired by Sega’s smash hit arcade driving game, Head On, Dodge ‘Em is the latest Atari 2600 game to hit Antstream Arcade. Collect all the dots in the maze, using the gaps to change lanes and avoid rival vehicles.
Ant-Fact: Dodge ‘Em was one of a handful of Atari 2600 games coded by Carla Meninsky. It was her first game for Atari.
Ant-Tactic: Don’t forget your car can accelerate and slow down – use this to help you avoid enemy cars.
Ant-ernative: For more classic top-down racing, you can’t go wrong with the 1986 arcade game Super Sprint.
Planet Smashers – Atari 7800
Finally, we present a new Atari 7800 game for this new games round-up. Released by Atari in 1990, Planet Smashers throws aliens and more against the player, and each one that escapes your clutches depletes a little of the shield protecting the Earth. Let too many past, and it’s game over – for all of us! This speedy and relentless shooter is another great Atari 7800 game on Antstream Arcade.
Ant-Fact: Planet Smashers is one of the rarer Atari 7800 cartridges to track down – fortunately, you can now play it, for free, on Antstream Arcade.
Ant-Tactic: The range counter tells the player how far they are from the end-of-level boss.
Ant-ernative: There are plenty of space-based shooters on Antstream Arcade. Take your pick from Imagine’s Arcadia, English Software’s Hyperblast or the arcade game Exerion from Jaleco.
Also new to Antstream Arcade this month: Amstrad games Splat! and Who Dares Wins II; Mountain Bike Rally on the SNES; arcade games GunForce II and Mechanized Attack; and more Atari love with Desert Falcon (Atari 7800) and RealSports Soccer Atari 2600).