PO. Box 61657
Sunnyvale, CA 94088
Game Cartridge-for all Atari 8-bit
computers equipped with the XG-1 light gun
by Matthew J.W. Ratcliff
You and Gramps have just purchased a small farm that is being overrun by varmints. With your trusty XG-1 Atari light gun (similar to a .357 Magnum, but with a little less kick), you must blast all the critters in sight.
Grandpa first sets up some bottles and cans on the back fence to get you warmed up. As they are shot, the bottles explode in a shower of glass, while the cans ricochet high into the air-both excellent effects. Keep a sharp eye out for the gopher. He can pop up in the background at the end of any shooting round. He's been tearing up Grandpa's property; a tough critter to zap for bonus points.
At the end of each round, if your shooting percentage is high enough, you proceed to the bonus round. Here Grandpa is brave (stupid?) enough to toss spinning bottles into the air, for additional shooting practice. You score the most for each bottle (100 points) by exploding them over Grandpa's head. Don't accidentally hit him or you'll lose all your bonus points.
Out in the cornfield-the next round-are some watermelons and pumpkins that you must blast. Grandpa doesn't even mind that you shoot them! Once they're splatted all over the field, you must fend off blackbirds and fluffy white rabbits. A good shootist will get to shoot bottles over Gramps'head and then move on to the barn scene
There are a whole mess of mice and sparrows loose in the barn. Those little critters are tough to zap, being small and fast. You'll have to contend with more rabbits and hoot owls too. Apparently Grandpa isn't much interested in his farmyard animals, since he doesn't mind if you blast the chickens and geese that run through the barn as well.
I love the
for splatting the
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Barnyard Blaster presents these three scenes-the barnyard fence, cornfield, and barn-alternating with Grandpa's bonus round. If you're a good sniper, you may make it though all 36 screens and finish the game As you progress through the levels, you have fewer bullets per round and must maintain a progressively higher shooting accuracy. At the end of the game you're given a final rating from "Total Dud" through "Terminator" to the ultimate Blaster.
I have found Barnyard Blaster to be far more sophisticated and entertaining than the Bug Hunt game which comes with the Atari XEGS. The screens are bright and colorful, with well-executed graphics. I love the sound effects too, especially for splatting the melons. The author, Jim Zalewski, has paid great attention to detail. On any of the game screens, take aim at objects that you're not intended to shoot, blast and listen. Your bullets will ping off the weather vane or the tin washtub inside the barn. They will splash in the water bucket or thud into the scarecrow out in the cornfield. If you're looking for a good light-gun game for your system, Barnyard Blaster is the one. It's the only one actually, but it is quite good. I think we can expect more great light-gun applications from Jim Zalewski and K-Byte, the people who brought us such classics as K-Razy Shootout.