Atari 5200 Review: ASTRO CHASE

by Parker Brothers

Astro Chase Pic 1
Astro Chase is such a pretty game to look at, it seems a shame that it isn't more exciting to play. At first glance Astro Chase looks like a space game with EVERYTHING. It's got shield depots, it's got energy generators and it's got pulsating enemy mines so powerful that just one of them can blow up the entire Earth. It's got a screen full of zillions of colorful asteroids, planets and stars, and a picture of Earth so realistic that you might mistaken it from an actual photo taken from a satellite in orbit. There are eight different kinds of enemy spacecrafts, 34 difficulty levels and no less than seven different animation sequences.

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Once the game begins, however, the gorgeous 3-D starfield is just another 2-D maze -- with round obstructions instead of walls -- through which you must carefully dodge in order to ray down the mines creeping towards the Earth. Enemy spaceships show up at odd intervals to distract you from your main job of eliminating the mines, and you can either shoot them or ram them. It seems the celebrated First Star designer Fernando Herrera either ran out of room for, or forgot about, challenging and innovative game action. Astro Chase is one big letdown and serves as a reminder that graphics are only skin deep.

Title Astro Chase
Publisher Parker Brothers
System Atari 5200 SuperSystem
Graphics 7
Sound 5
Gameplay 5
Overall 5
Reviewer Keita Iida

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