The Game: You’re the pilot of a fighter plane whose job is to patrol the sky at supersonic speeds and eliminate alien threats to the cities on the ground below You have a radar screen spanning the entire globe at your disposal, and endless arsenals of weaponry. If all of the cities are wiped out, your mission – and your life as you know it – are over. (Imagic, 1983)
Memories: Imagic had done a much better job bringing Donkey Kong to the Intellivision than Coleco did, with Beauty And The Beast being almost incalculably better than Coleco’s official Kong port. So why not do the same for Defender?
Nova Blast actually combines elements of Defender and, with its whole defend-the-cities element, Missile Command as well. Most of the game play is obviously lifted straight out of Defender, of course, and it’s a serviceable enough clone of that popular arcade game.
But even with the relatively straightforward climbing game Beauty And The Beast, Imagic’s games, if not always the most original, brought at least a little something compelling to the table, something that made their games more than the sum of their sometimes obviously cloned parts. Nova Blast just seems to be missing that “Imagic touch” – there’s nothing that really sticks out here and says “this is an Imagic game” in the way that Beauty and Atlantis and Demon Attack do.
What Activision was to Atari (i.e. redefining what was possible with the hardware platform at their disposal), Imagic was to Intellivision, frequently turning out games that defined the Intellivision better than even its first party titles. And somehow, Nova Blast just doesn’t have that “something special” that makes it stand out. It’s a surprisingly average game from the gang at Imagic – not a bad game, but not a standout of their library either.