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.