Blasto Manual (Front Cover)
|Original Retail Price||$24.95|
|Programmer(s)||Elaine Henshon & Bob Harris|
|Format(s)||Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module|
|Release||1981 (1st Quarter)|
Blasto is a port of the 1978 Sega/Gremlin arcade game  of the same name. Blasto was programmed by Elaine Henshon and Bob Harris. It was published by Milton Bradley, although it was distributed by Texas Instruments. Blasto sold for $24.95 originally, and was made available during the 1st quarter of 1981. It was released on Solid State SoftwareTM Command Module.
Although a port of an arcade game, Blasto for TI-99/4A has some singular differences that set it apart from the original Sega/Gremlin Blasto. The original Blasto was in black and white (more a product of the era due to technological limitations), versus full color for the TI version. The original featured a spaceship while the TI port portrays tanks blasting away at mines. Besides those two changes, the Texas Instruments port and the original are for all intents and purposes, identical.
One Player Mode
In one player mode, the player attempts to clear the entire field (playing area) of large blue mines. The field is also littered with small green mines. The small green mines don't have enough power to affect the tank, however; getting too close to a large blue mine when it explodes will send the player's tank into a spin-out returning it back to its starting point. The goal is to completely clear the field of all large blue mines in the allotted time.
One Player Options
There are three options to choose from in one player mode:
- Speed: Determines the length the game lasts and has three options:
* Sluggish: 90 seconds * Rapid: 75 seconds * Full Tilt: 60 seconds
- Tanks Trails: Defines whether or not there are trails that the player can maneuver through at the beginning of the game.
- Mine Density: Determines how many mines the field contains.
Two Player Mode
Two player mode provides a few unique options. Time limits per round for two-player mode is always 90 seconds. The object in two player mode includes shooting the opponent as well.
- Tank Motion: Tank motion can either be "Normal" or "Invisible." In invisible mode, the tanks are invisible while moving, whereas, in normal mode, the tanks remain visible at all times.
- Battleground: In two-player mode, there are two options, "Mine Field" and "Obstacles." In mine field mode, the field is similar to the mine field in one-player mode, except the players not only need to make sure not to be too close to an exploding mine, but have to elude being shot by his/her opponent. In obstacle mode, there are no mines. The players simply navigate through a maze and attempt to hit their opponent.
Front Cover of Manual
Blasto puts you in command of an armored tank traveling through a dangerous mine field. You score points by destroying mines or blasting your opponent's tank!
Back Cover of Manual
Experience the thirll of maneuvering a tank through a treacherous mine field! With the Blasto Command Module, you guide your tank through an arena, firing at mines as you go. Based on the number and types of mines you destroy in the allotted time period, points are added to your score.
- Milton Bradley chose in this port of Blasto, to replace the space ship with tanks for marketing reasons.
- The program was started by Elaine Henshon who for unknown reasons, stopped working on it (perhaps because she was busy with other projects). Robert S. Harris (known as RoSHa), picked up Blasto and finished the project.
- Originally, TI initially intended to combine Blasto, Hunt the Wumpus, and A-MAZE-ING into one module, but Kevin Kenney added features to the games making them viable stand-alone products.
- The European manual cover erroneously lists Blasto as part#: PHM 3023 instead of PHM 3032. 
After you select the module, the next display asks you to choose a one- or two-player game. To see a demonstration of Blasto, do not press any key. After a moment, a sample two-player game automatically appears.
When you are ready to set up your own game, press any key and the first option selection display reappears. For information on the keys used to play the game and on the point values of the targets, press AID. The information appears on the display for a short time, followed automatically by the options display. (Once you select all your game options, AID is no longer available.) Then press 1 for a one-player game or 2 for a two-player game.
If you choose a one-player game, you have three additional options:
- Speed - The speed you enter determines the length of the game and how fast your tank moves around the mine field. With Sluggish speed, the game lasts 90 seconds; with Rapid, 75 seconds; and with Full Tilt, 60 seconds.
- Tank Trails - With several Tank Trails, the computer provides paths, thus increasing the tank's maneuverability. With no Trails, your tank is forced to clear its own paths.
- Mine Density - When selecting Mine Density, keep in mind that the higher the density, the greater your scoring possibilities.
Based on the type of target you hit, points are added to your score. A typical field consists of small green mines and large blue mines. These mines are positioned at random at the start of each game.
The playing time for a two-player game is always 90 seconds. After you select your playing speed, additional options are displayed.
- Tank Motion - With Tank Motion, you and your opponent have the option to have the tanks always displayed - Normal - or be Invisible when they are being moved.
- Battleground - This selection offers two options: Mine Field and Obstacles. The playing field for Mine Field is identical to the board in a one-player game. In a two-player game, however, you fire both at the targets and your opponent's tank. The playing field in Obstacles consists of an open arena with barriers in the middle and in the four corners. Your objective is to maneuver your tank around the barriers and blast your opponent's tank.
If you choose Obstacles under Battleground, you are ready to begin the game. If you select Mine Field, the Tank Trails and Mine Density options appear on the screen.
At anytime during the game selection process, you can return to the first option screen by pressing BEGIN.