• Graeme Mason

MEGA New Games Round-up

It’s been a few weeks since our last New Games blast and there have been plenty of exciting new additions to keep Antstream Arcade fans on their toes. From space invasions to bartending and skateboarding, there’s a host of fantastic new games to discover. So what are we waiting for? Let’s go!


Centipede

Arthropods such as the humble centipede aren’t generally a problem in life – not so in this famous fixed shoot-‘em-up of the same name, garden fresh from the Golden Age of Arcade games. Taking control of a humanoid figure at the foot of the screen, the player blasts away at the rapidly-descending centipede while dodging spiders, fleas and scorpions. With its fast action and simple, intuitive gameplay, Centipede is a true classic of the arcades.


Ant-Fact: In the Adam Sandler film Pixels, a giant Centipede lays siege to Hyde Park in London before the heroes are able to despatch the marauding creature.

Ant-Tactic: Eliminating the scorpions is key as they poison mushrooms, causing the centipede to descend quickly to the bottom of the screen. Clear a path each side so you can despatch these critters quickly.

Ant-ernative: For more creepy-crawly related gaming of a slightly less frenetic nature, check out Venus The Flytrap on Commodore Amiga.


Operation Wolf

It’s time to parachute into the jungle in this first person shoot-‘em-up from arcade giants Taito. The enemy has taken five hostages and imprisoned them, and only this well-armed, skilled commando can rescue them. Battle through six levels of enemy soldiers, tanks, gunboats and more, letting loose a stream of hot lead and grenades. But watch out for the stretcher-bearing nurses!


Ant-Fact: Operation Wolf was a smash hit in the arcades before Ocean Software licensed it whereupon it became a huge seller for most of the popular home consoles and computers of the late Eighties.

Ant-Tactic: Watch out for the grey-uniformed soldiers – after taking a hit, they cheekily get back up and start firing at you again. The cads.

Ant-ernative: For more lone soldier action, check out Ikari Warriors from SNK – although now you can bring a friend!


Xenophobe

The many space stations, moons and space ships of humankind are under attack from raiding xenos. Beaming into each location, the player must kill as many aliens as they can within a strict time limit before jetting off to the next stricken scene. With many hazardous situations to negotiate, nine characters to choose from and powerful weapons to pick up, there’s a lot of hectic action in Xenophobe. Exterminate the aliens!


Ant-Fact: Xenophobe was the first arcade game to have its action split into three segments – one for each player.

Ant-Tactic: Inspired by the Alien movies, the xenos in Xenophobe have a distinct life cycle. From the egg bursts a mini-alien that, if left unmolested, eventually grows into a towering and terrifying creature. Get ‘em early!

Ant-ernative: Also inspired by Alien and Aliens is the tactical shooter Force 7, available on Commodore 64 on Antstream Arcade.


Root Beer Tapper

Had enough of shooting? How about the no-less-sedate art of serving jugs of root beer to thirsty customers? It’s happy hour and everyone’s clamouring for a drink or… several. Hurl the full glasses down the bar to the waiting punters and don’t forget to collect the empties that come back your way – broken glasses are deducted from your wages!


Ant-Fact: The original arcade game was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch and featured jugs full of ice-cold Budweiser.

Ant-Tactic: The bartender can warp from the bottom to the top of the screen and vice-versa. Very useful when things get busy!

Ant-ernative: If your thirst has been quenched, why not head over the road to Peter Pepper’s Ice Cream Factory for a frozen treat or two?


720 Degrees

Atari adopted the trendy fad of skateboarding for this arcade game from 1986. Perform tricks around the neighbourhood in order to earn enough money to enter the skate park and show off your spinning moves. Just don’t take too long around town; there’s a swarm of killer bees on the loose! Skate or die!


Ant-Fact: In keeping with the youthful theme, the original 720 Degrees arcade cabinet has its speakers fashioned into the form of an Eighties boom box.

Ant-Tactic: Mastering the ramps is key in 720 Degrees. Experiment with twists and jumps to unlock different moves and earn extra points.

Ant-ernative: If digital skateboarding is your thing, we’ve also got Codemasters’ Pro Skateboard Simulator and California Games on Antstream Arcade.


Robotron 2084

Inspired partly by the earlier arcade game Berzerk, Robotron places the player inside a deadly futuristic world, surrounded by evil robots intent on wiping out the last remaining humans. Armed with a multi-directional laser, it’s your job to fend off the metallic enemies while rescuing the people wandering carelessly around each room. With its unrelenting and belligerent foes, Robotron 2084 is a true test for any gamer, and now available to play on Antstream Arcade.


Ant-Fact: While twin-stick shoot-‘em-ups existed prior to Robotron 2084, it was the Williams game that popularised the genre.

Ant-Tactic: Mastering the constant balance between run-shoot-rescue is vital if you want to survive for long – and achieve a high score – in Robotron’s unremittingly harsh environment.

Ant-ernative: Released a few years later, Smash TV re-purposes Robotron’s relentless gameplay into a Running Man-style game show.


Xybots

While similar thematically to Robotron 2084, the view is much changed for Atari’s Xybots, released into arcade five years later. Now, one or two players sit behind their respective avatar, the improbably-named Rock Hardy and Ace Gunn. Take out the enemy robots with your laser gun, take cover and upgrade at the handy shops in this technically impressive arcade run ‘n’ gun game.


Ant-Fact: Xybots is essentially a third-person interpretation of classic arcade maze games such as Berzerk and Robotron 2084.

Ant-Tactic: In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, rotate your character to the direction of a turn before charging around corners.

Ant-ernative: As with Xybots, Data East’s Metal Clash pitches humankind against a robotic menace.


Also new to Antstream Arcade: Sensible Software’s breakthrough strategy hit Mega-Lo-Mania debuts on Super Nintendo, as does Earthworm Jim 2 and arcade conversion Joe And Mac 2; Atari’s novel and angular castle-building game, Rampart; the popular digitised beat-‘em-up Pit-Fighter; decidedly odd, yet exciting Pinball Quest on the NES; 1986 arcade sequel Joust 2; the charming garden maze of Rompers; and finally, Atari spy caper Cloak And Dagger.


Stay tuned for another new games round-up soon!



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