Astro Blaster is a shoot ’em up arcade game created by Gary Shannon and Barbara Michalec, released by Sega in 1981.
The player controls a ship which can fire and move left or right. The player must continuously monitor the onscreen temperature and fuel gauges; if the ship overheats, its weapon is disabled, and if it is depleted of fuel, the vessel itself explodes. The player must battle through waves of enemies, which attack with varied formations and flight patterns. When a wave is destroyed, a new one appears. At the end of each sector, the player flies through an asteroid belt and can obtain extra fuel by shooting fireballs. After this, the mother ship is met, where the player docks and refuels for the next sector. Also, the player is rewarded various bonuses for accomplishing certain feats, such as, shooting all enemies in a specific order or shooting all enemies without missing.
Astro Blaster features “speech synthesis” technology. This was a novel feature at the time that was shared with Midway’s contemporary arcade title “Gorf”, and had been pioneered a year earlier by Stern’s “Berzerk”. During attract mode (specifically while showing the high score list) the game’s voice synthesizer generates the speech “Fighter pilots needed in sector wars…play Astro Blaster!”
In Sega’s 2001 Dreamcast epic, “Shenmue”, an Astro Blaster cabinet can be seen in the YOU Arcade in Dobuita, but it has an “out of order” label on it and is not playable.