Sinistar: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


Sinistar is an outer space themed video game created and manufactured by Williams Electronics in 1982. Many of the most foremost game designers and programmers of that era were involved in the creation of Sinistar. Graphics were designed by Jack E. Haeger, and John Newcomer created the storyline to this game. Lead programming credits are given to Sam Dicker.

Sound effects to Sinistar were created by Michael Metz. Noah Falstein is credited as both the projected leader as well as a co-designer. Supports programmers consist of Richard Witt and Robert Mical. The first port for Sinistar was developed for the Atari 2600, however, the first commercially released port appeared on the Nintendo SNEX in 1996. Sinistar was included in a collection of Williams Electronics games. This title is both a one and two player game.


Game Play Overview

Sinistar is classified as a twitch game, in which several other arcade titles from the early 1980s belong. In short, twitch games are described as titles that require players to respond to visual effects rapidly. Impeccable hand-eye coordination is needed to master Sinistar. Players can move the Siniship in a total of eight main directions, fire the ship’s gun and ultimately, fire their sinibombs.

Crystals are the most vital element of Sinistar. Both pilots of the Siniship and enemies alike work to collect crystals. Each crystal collected earns players 200 points. When picked up by players, they are converted into sinibombs. However, one type of opponent, called workers, can also take the crystals and use them to build the Sinistar.

The Sinistar is the most dangerous enemy of the Siniship, and it will ultimately consume players if it is left unchecked. You can stop the Sinistar one of two different ways; either prevent it from being built in the first place, or destroy it with your sinibombs. When a chunk of the Sinistar breaks off, players get 500 points. Completely destroying the Sinistar yields 15,000 points.

Players can only obtain sinibombs by collecting crystals, which are lodged within planetoids. When a planetoid is decimated, players receive 5 points. Planetoids look like small meteors or planets, and the Siniship is capable of firing on them to release crystals. Once released, crystals are available to players and workers alike.

Warrior ships are another type of enemy that will fire at you during the game. However, touching them will not cause you any harm. Shooting a warrior ships will give you 500 points.

Special Features

The most appealing special feature in Sinistar is the 255 life bonus. This bonus is very difficult to earn, requiring lots of pre-planning and patience. Players will need to get down to their last life in order to attempt to activate this bonus feature. Next, you will need to allow the workers to completely build the Sinistar. Wait until a warrior ship is near, and time it so that the ship is firing at you at the same time that the Sinistar is closing in on you. Although the screen will actually record your remaining lives as -1, you will have 255 lives remaining.


Warrior ships – These enemies look like space ships, and they will fire upon the Siniship rapidly. They can be easily defeated with the Siniship’s gun.

Sinistar – This is the ultimate enemy of the Siniship. Do not allow workers to build the Sinistar or you will have a hard battle ahead of you.

Siniship – Also referred to as the player ship, the Siniship is in control of the game. Collect crystals to build sinibombs and wipe out the Sinistar.

Crystals – Crystals are the most important resource in Sinistar. You and enemy workers will race against time to gain the most crystals first.

Planetoids – All crystals are housed within Planetoids, the meteor like formation. Blow them up to reveal the precious crystal resource.

Workers – Workers are the only enemy group that is capable of putting together the Sinistar.

How to Play Sinistar

In Sinistar, players only have two objectives; defending themselves against their foes and collecting crystals. Likewise, enemies have two similar goals. They will only attack when you are actively picking up crystals or blowing up planetoids. Otherwise, warriors and the Sinistar will always leave you alone. Workers are not capable of attacking at all.

At the start of the game, there will be no floating crystals. They will first be revealed once the Siniship is used to destroy a planetoid. If a player does act to reveal crystals, eventually a warrior ship will come onto the screen and start decimating planetoids. As soon as the crystals come out, workers will rush to collect them.

A number of crystals must be first collected and then arranged by workers before the Sinistar is revealed. As Sinistar is an infinite play game, players must destroy the Sinistar multiple times if they want to progress to the next levels. All enemy groups will appear to become smarter as the game goes on. Players that last the longest and obtain the highest scores win.

Hints and Tips
- Workers cannot work and warrior ships cannot attack until you are in pursuit of crystals. In order to give yourself a break and strategize, refrain from blowing up all of the planetoids at once. Instead, trying blowing up one planetoid at a time and rushing in to collect the crystals before your enemies can react.

- Hit the Sinistar in the middle if you want a kill shot. Otherwise, hit it in on the sides and watch large portions of it break away.


We hope you enjoyed the video and the information shared on this classic arcade game.

Order Your Very Own Authentic Classic Arcade Machine Here

Check Out Other Classic Arcade Game Videos Here

For over 30 years Arcade Classics continues to bring the classics to life!