Get ready to get your retro on! TriBlaster is a downloadable game for iOS and Android (reviewed on iPad here), that bears a striking resemblance to Atari’s arcade classic Tempest. How does it work on a tablet device more than 30 years later? Read on to find out.
TriBlaster is a shooter where you move left and right on one side of a playfield. On the opposite end, enemies will approach closer to you, and you must shoot them before they get you. When you shoot all the bad guys in the level, you move onto the next. You get three lives to get as far as you can with a high score. Reach certain stages and you can start at those levels next time you play.
When shot, certain enemies will leave behind little green triangles. Pick them up to fill your beam meter. Activating your beam lets you zap waves of baddies, but it depletes your meter, so use it wisely. Every few stages, you’ll enter a bonus level where you can catch these little green triangles from a floating head to refill your meter, too.
To move your character, simply slide your finger left and right on the bottom of the touch screen. Tap the left and right sides on the bottom to fire your beam, and tap the sides in the middle of the screen to jump. Jumping is handy when an enemy reaches your side of the playfield, and you need to zap it without getting hit.
Only problem with this game is the touch screen play control is not as precise as using a paddle controller joystick like the Tempest arcade game had. And it really could’ve used a thumping soundtrack like Tempest 2000 also. Plus, TriBlaster is really hard. But then, I never was very good at Tempest anyway.
Since the game is just shapes shooting at other shapes, the game isn’t violent. Reading skill isn’t necessary to play, but younger gamers may get bored and/or frustrated at the difficulty and repetitive nature of the gameplay.