Williams - 1982
Machine: Arcade, and many others
Genre: Vehicle Shooter
This game is a bit like Defender with a smidgen of Asteroids added to it. That doesn't really do much justice to this masterpiece of insane arcade action. You're in control of a small spaceship, flying in amongst an asteroid field of some kind. The dreaded Sinistar is slowly being constructed and your only chance of survival is to mine Sinisite Crystals from the asteroids that surround you. These are transformed into Sinibombs which will hopefully blow up your despicable foe. During your attempts to mine the Sinsite, you are pursued by insect like ships that just make the whole job even tougher. The best bits of this game happen off-screen, with the tension being built by the mocking voice of Sinistar himself. As Sinistar is getting close to being operational, he begins to taunt you... it's actually quite scary as he teases you with phrases like "I hunger!" and "Beware, I Live!" If you've managed to survive long enough, Sinistar is completed and he comes after you bellowing "Run, Run Coward!" Then, in a moment of true horror, you see what Sinistar actually is. He's just this giant demonic face that ruthlessly races after you until you've been destroyed. I don't even know why he's so angry. What a great baddy.
Sinistar is a tough, tough game but it features some really nice touches, as one would expect from Williams. You can fly around where you like, searching for the asteroids that might give you a chance to kill Sinistar. I thought maybe I could fly away as far as I could, but Sinistar tracked me down and killed me. There is a really nice open feel to the game, even though I suppose you are basically doomed from the start. It was the first arcade game to feature full stereo sound, all the better to hear the splendidly frightening voice of Sinistar himself. "Beware Coward!"
Bubbaray 05 May '03
Play online - In Midway's online classic arcade.
The Philosophical Revelations of Sinistar - "I hunger, therefore, I live." An exploration of Sinistar as the great unrecognized, philosophical genius of the last century.