People forget how early Sinistar was – 1983. Which was a hell of a year for old arcade shooters!
Of the first colour arcade shooters, the class of 1983 were definitely second or third generation – in terms of ideas, patterns, movement, challenge, and sophistication. Graphically they were becoming a great improvement over early shoot ’em ups.
Sinistar is a good example of this. The graphics are much more detailed and colourful than the old arcade shooters of 1980/81.
The premise of the game is quite complex too – shoot asteroids to mine ‘Sinibombs’, which you then use to fight a giant end-of-level boss. Well, Sinistar is more than just an end-of-level boss – he is a terrifying law unto himself. The way he taunts you, before destroying you, is chilling.
Noah Falstein and John Newcomer designed Sinistar for Williams Electronics. As a multi-direction shooter there are few games quite like it.
When you hear the words “I live!” you know you don’t have very long to live yourself…
More: Sinistar on Wikipedia