|Genre(s)||Vertical scrolling shooter|
Blast Off is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game that was released by Namco in 1989 only in Japan. It runs on Namco System 1 hardware and is the sequel to Bosconian, which had been released eight years previously in Japan and the US.
As in the original Bosconian arcade game, the player takes control of the Star Fighter, for a second time; however, as with many other vertical scrolling shooters (such as Namco's own Xevious), it is now always facing top of the screen and constantly moving upward while the background scrolls down behind it, bringing enemies into view which you will have the chance to kill for points.
The game uses two buttons - one is used to fire circular shots at the enemies, while the other is used to cycle through the Star Fighter's four varieties of firing patterns. The patterns are cycled through in the following order, before reverting back to the first:
- Red: Two shots are fired directly ahead of the Star Fighter in what can only be described as a "double-helix" twisting pattern.
- Blue: One shot is fired directly ahead of the Star Fighter while another is fired directly behind it (it is the original firing pattern).
- Yellow: One shot is fired directly ahead of the Star Fighter while another is fired to its left side and a third is fired to its right side.
- Green: Two shots are fired diagonally ahead of the Star Fighter (northwest and northeast) while a third is fired directly behind it.
By pressing and holding down the firing button, the Star Fighter will be able to fire more powerful, spherical shots at the enemies.