Beamrider

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Beamrider
Beamrider
Intellivision cover art
Developer(s) Activision
Publisher(s) Activision
Designer(s) David Rolfe[1]
Platform(s) Intellivision (original)
Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, C64, MSX, ZX Spectrum
Release date(s) Intellivision Atari 2600 Atari 5200
  • NA: 1983
Genre(s) Fixed shooter
Mode(s) Single player

Beamrider is a fixed shooter designed for the Intellivision by David Rolfe and published by Activision in 1983.[1] The game was then ported to the Atari 2600 (with a slightly reduced feature set), Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit family, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum as well as the MSX platform.

The game is similar to Nintendo's Radar Scope (1979) and Konami's Juno First (1983), in that the playfield is angled into the screen, giving it a 3D feel.

Gameplay[edit]

Beamrider takes place above Earth's atmosphere, where a large alien shield called the Restrictor Shield surrounds the Earth. The player's objective is to clear the Shield's 99 sectors of alien craft while piloting the Beamrider ship. The Beamrider is equipped with a short-range laser lariat and a limited supply of torpedoes. The player is given three at the start of each sector.

To clear a sector, fifteen enemy ships must be destroyed. A "Sentinel ship" will then appear, which can be destroyed using a torpedo (if any remain) for bonus points. Some enemy ships can only be destroyed with torpedoes, and some must simply be dodged. Occasionally during a sector, "Yellow Rejuvenators" (extra lives) appear. They can be picked up for an extra ship, but if they are shot they will transform into ship-damaging debris.

Activision offered special Beamrider patches to players who could get to Sector 14 with 40,000 points and sent in a screenshot of their accomplishment.

Artificial intelligence research[edit]

In December 2013, DeepMind, a Google company, published a study that claimed its artificial intelligence software equaled human performance playing Beamrider. [2]

Reception[edit]

The Deseret News in 1984 gave the ColecoVision version of Beamrider three stars, describing it as "basically a slide-and-shoot space game."[3]

A reviewer for Your Commodore described the Commodore 64 version of the game as "a really good, wholesome arcade zapping game."[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]