Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

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MMohammed
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Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by MMohammed » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:35 pm

Image

Scramble, a horizontal-scroll shooter released back in 1981, was the first of its kind. Specifically, it is the arcade world’s introduction to forced scrolling - the game itself forced progression through a map, making players continuously adjust. Scramble was developed by Konami and designed to keep you endlessly reacting.

The main object of attention is an aircraft referred to simply as a Jet. This jet is essentially pushed through levels by a terrain that scrolls along the screen on its own. At the same time, players have to guide the jet to avoid obstacles, including a host of enemies and the map’s terrain. In this effort, the jet is equipped with two weapons: an on-board blaster and bombs. The blaster fires forward at oncoming enemy ships. As for the bombs, they come in handy when destroying fuel tanks down below. Doing so replenishes the jet’s fuel, which diminishes over time.

Players are taken through six levels, each offering up a different sort of terrain and obstacles. The objective is, basically, to stay alive for as long as each level requires before moving on. At the end of the final level, players are challenged to destroy a “base.” Once this is done, the game starts itself over, going back to the first section, but with an increased difficulty.

The scoring rewards both staying alive and being aggressive: 10 points for each second the jet is still up and running, 100 points for hitting UFOs, 150 points for destroying a fuel tank, 800 points for blasting bases at the end of levels. If a player managed to score 10,000 points, they were awarded an extra jet.

Although it wasn’t ported to any major consoles, Scramble was a massive success upon its release - It only took five months for US distributor Stern to sell 15,136 cabinets. Reviewers touted its level design, noting that it was so easy to get lost in the world this game side-scrolled through. It also proved to be notoriously difficult for the pros, with review writers noting that it was rare anyone got beyond the fourth level.

For some more nostalgia, check out the Retro Gamer feature on this side-scroller here:

https://www.retrogamer.net/retro_games80/scramble/

Gameplay: Controlling a jet, players were forced to deal with constantly changing enemy formations and weapons as well as terrain elements. A forward-firing weapon combined with bombs to serve as players’ weapon choices, each operated by separate corresponding buttons.

Play: The game got even quicker when you successfully finished all six stages, adding an extra challenge. Interestingly, there was also no break between levels as each stage just naturally scrolled to the next upon completion.

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SHaines
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Re: Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by SHaines » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:34 am

I remember this game from the olden days, but I never actually played it. I played a ton of games it influence though. In fact, I had a James Bond game that had a section where you controlled a car/boat and could shoot straight ahead, or drop bombs on a curve. I can't remember which game it is for the life of me.

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Antiriad2097
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Re: Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:26 am

MMohammed wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:35 pm
Although it wasn’t ported to any major consoles, Scramble was a massive success upon its release
It might be stretching the definition of 'major', but it did get an excellent official port to the most unlikely of systems - the Vectrex.

Surprisingly, the conversion from raster to vector display works very well, with a clean and smooth display that doesn't hurt the playability.
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merman
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Re: Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by merman » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:59 am

SHaines wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:34 am
I remember this game from the olden days, but I never actually played it. I played a ton of games it influence though. In fact, I had a James Bond game that had a section where you controlled a car/boat and could shoot straight ahead, or drop bombs on a curve. I can't remember which game it is for the life of me.
James Bond 007 from Parker Brothers, Atari 2600 and C64 were the main versions. Four variations on Moon Patrol/Scramble based on Bond films.
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kiwimike
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Re: Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by kiwimike » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:22 pm

Love this game. Never completed the sectors I'm embarrassed to say. There is one part in the fortress I'm buggered if I can get passed!

kiwimike
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Re: Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by kiwimike » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:23 pm

Antiriad2097 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:26 am
MMohammed wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:35 pm
Although it wasn’t ported to any major consoles, Scramble was a massive success upon its release
It might be stretching the definition of 'major', but it did get an excellent official port to the most unlikely of systems - the Vectrex.

Surprisingly, the conversion from raster to vector display works very well, with a clean and smooth display that doesn't hurt the playability.
Played the emulator version of it whilst pining for the real thing- it's a great version

NorthWay
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Re: Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by NorthWay » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:29 am

I always thought it was extremely similar to Cosmic Avenger (or rather, the other way around), which I really liked on the ColecoVision (rented one a few times).

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merman
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Re: Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by merman » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:34 pm

NorthWay wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:29 am
I always thought it was extremely similar to Cosmic Avenger (or rather, the other way around), which I really liked on the ColecoVision (rented one a few times).
Released the same year, so difficult to say one influenced the other
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SpecChum81
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Re: Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by SpecChum81 » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:41 pm

Big fan of this classic game!

Even though, after all this time, I've still never been able to complete it!

Maybe someday, maybe someday...
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SHaines
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Re: Retro Gaming Spotlight: Scramble

Post by SHaines » Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:23 pm

NorthWay wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:29 am
I always thought it was extremely similar to Cosmic Avenger (or rather, the other way around), which I really liked on the ColecoVision (rented one a few times).
I LOVED my Colecovision as a kid. It was such an incredible piece of hardware for a kid at the time. I loved being able to swap through the various different controllers based on the game. The standard controllers worked great for me, but there was definitely some serious thumb pain to be found, even as a kid, when playing games that required a lot of spamming.

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