Scramble: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview
Officially released in 1981, Scramble was one of the first outer space themed shooters developed by Konami. Stern Electronics distributed Scramble in the United States, Arctic Electronics handled the Asian market and Compu-Games A/S manufactured the game in Europe.
Super Cobra, another first person shooter was the first sequel to Scramble. After that came Fort Apocalypse. Scramble was not ported to any home video gaming systems, but a remake was made available on the Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360. Several new versions of the game were released in arcades throughout the 1990s and the 2000s.
The same year that Scramble was released, Stern became the plaintiff in a precedent setting legal case. A company by the name of Omni had also obtained licensing rights to Scramble and produced copycat arcade machines of the game. Ultimately, Stern won its legal case.
Either one or two players can play Scramble.
Game Play Overview
There are a total of six parts to the game. Going from the left side of the screen to the right, the objective is to navigate your jetfighter across different terrains and take out all enemies present. At the end of each level there is a major battle. Players are to annihilate an enemy base in order to move on.
While steering the jetfighter and shooting enemies, you will also need to pay attention to your fuel levels. Running out of fuel is equivalent to losing a life. More fuel is added to your reserves each time that you drop a bomb onto a gas tanker.
Staying alive and flying the jetfighter will earn you 10 points each second. Successfully bombing a gas tanker yields 150 points, and taking out a flying saucer earns you 100 points.
Randomized enemy bases appear throughout Scramble. A single bomb can be used to destroy the base and earn 200 extra points.
Gas Tankers – These large trucks can be destroyed to add more fuel to your jetfighter.
Jetfighter/Player ship – The oblong flying aircraft that hovers in the air and is controlled by players is the jetfighter.
Enemy bases – Toward the end of each stage, a major enemy base awaits. Destroy it to go further in Scramble.
Flying saucers – Alien spaceships fly in the same airspace at the jetfighter. Shoot them down or navigate around them.
Missiles – Missiles launched by enemies can destroy the player ship. They must be shot down and stopped on sight.
How to Play Scramble
There are two main sets of controls in Scramble. The four-way joystick will enable you to move the jetfighter up or down. However, the ship constantly moves from left to right and there is no way to actually change directions. You can increase the speed in which the jetfighter flies forward, but this action will cost you extra fuel.
Two action buttons will allow you to either shoot the jetfighter’s gun or drop bombs. Bombs come from the underside of the ship and the gun shoots forward.
Contact with all inanimate objects and enemies must be avoided at all times. If you run out of fuel, are hit by a projectile or come in contact with an enemy, you will lose a life. Points will be added to your score continually as simply staying alive. However, you do want to try to complete each sector as quickly as possible because fuel is more precious than points.
During the first stage you will be provided with an ample amount of fuel. While there won’t be enough in your tank for you to get through the entire sector, you will only need to blow up a couple of gas tankers if you are prudent.
Any enemy or target that is on the ground will have to be destroyed with a bomb. Flying enemies and targets have to be shot. You will have more chances to shoot enemies as your timing will not need to be precise. Try to drop bombs right before you pass over a target in order to hit your mark.
Avoid flying high on the screen and instead navigate directly above all peaks and valleys. This will help you to increase your accuracy and timing. The last part of this level will consist of an enemy base battle. Simply drop bombs over the target until it is eliminated.
There will be more flying saucer enemies on this board than any other opponent group. Flying saucers can be destroyed or evaded, but of course, you will only get points if you shoot them down. This stage will go pretty quickly if you fly rapidly and maneuver your ship as close to the bottom of the screen as possible. Remember to keep an eye on your fuel reserves and destroy gas tankers as necessary. There will be another enemy base fight at the end of sector two.
Sector 3 and Beyond
After completing the first two stages, you should begin to see a repetitive pattern emerging. The same number of enemies will appear in the same places, only they will be moving slightly faster. In addition, your fuel reserves will become depleted more quickly as you progress. Looking out for and successfully destroying gas tankers is probably the most important element in Scramble. Without fuel, you will not be able to proceed.
If there are too many enemies for you to successfully destroy, try to out maneuver them instead. While you will not get any points, at least you will still be alive.
Hints and Tips
- Taking out randomized enemy bases is a great way to add more points to your score, but don’t waste too much time. The more time that you spend taking out non-essential targets, the less fuel you will have available to you for the remainder of the level.
- Try to continuously fly at a moderate speed. You may be tempted to fly quickly in order to avoid more difficult parts of the game, but you will also burn off more fuel.
We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.
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