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Beamrider on the Atari 2600 by Activision published in 1983

Beamrider is a fixed shooter written for the Intellivision by David Rolfe and published by Activision in 1983. The game was ported to the Atari 2600 (with a slightly reduced feature set),

General Information

Developer - Action Graphics, Atari 2600, Cheshire Engineering

Publisher - Activision

Release - 1983

Platform(s) - Atari 2600

Number of Players - 1

Genre - Vehicular combat, First-person shooter

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


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