I picked up this gem for the ol’ iPhone arcade this morning. Data East’s Road Blaster or Road Avenger is (as Wikipedia so kindly explains) a 1985 interactive movie arcade game. The gameplay requires only fast reflexes and pattern recognition. Players turn the steering wheel left or right, break, or speed up as indicated by the car’s on-board display in order to avoid any number of lethal conclusions.
The game’s story is recapped in the intro sequence and it’s a doozy. You and your beautiful anime wife are just cruising in a red bruiser of a car when a group of Mad Max-esque baddies run you off the road. Of course, your wife dies in the accident and the only solace is in vengeance. During the course of game you’ll risk the lives of many innocents by driving through very public locales (maybe the beach, a construction site, or an office building—yes, inside) in one sequence animated with the help of anime powerhouse Toei Animation. The result is as immersive an experience as any contemporary console effort. I can’t even imagine what a similar game would like like with some today’s game money thrown at it. After all, how often do you get to assume the role of a reckless douche with a hot car? Oh, that often?
At any rate, the game has me feeling all nostalgic for a time when I wasn’t even around. I can only imagine the countless quarters dropped into the original cabinet in some sweaty roller rink arcade. Now for the price of one round with the machine, I own a beautiful iPhone port (the game feels right at home on the device) and “relive” the high-octane magic whenever I want.