Beamrider is a scrolling shooter designed for the Intellivision by Activision programmer David Rolfe. The game was then ported to the Atari 2600 (with a slightly reduced feature set), Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum as well as the MSX platform.
Beamrider takes place above Earth's atmosphere, where a large alien shield called the Restrictor Shield surrounds the Earth. The player's objective is to clear the Shield's 99 sectors of alien craft while piloting the Beamrider ship. The Beamrider is equipped with a short-range laser lariat and a limited supply of torpedos. The player is given three at the start of each sector.
To clear a sector, fifteen enemy ships must be destroyed. A 'Sentinel ship' will then appear, which can be destroyed using a torpedo (if any remain) for bonus points. Some enemy ships can only be destroyed with torpedoes, and some must simply be dodged. Occasionally during a sector, 'Yellow Rejuvenators' (extra lives) appear. They can be picked up for an extra ship, but if they are shot they will transform into ship-damaging debris.
Beamrider is considered by some as the closest you'll ever get to having Tempest on the 2600, thanks to the similar gameplay and appearance.
Activision offered special Beamrider patches to players who could get to Sector 14 with 40,000 points and sent in a screenshot of their accomplishment.
Find digital download of this game on
This version of Beamrider was designed for Atari 2600, which was commercially very successful video game console of second generation produced by Atari from 1977 to 1992. It was the first console that used removable memory modules with games. At the time of its greatest fame, more than 30 million units of this console were sold for about $ 200 a piece. To date, the game library for this console contains nearly 1,000 original games. More information about the
Atari 2600 can be found here.
Recommended Game Controllers:
You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB joystick that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a joystick, buy a suitable USB controller on Amazon or AliExpress or in some of your favorite online stores.
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Beamrider. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Beamrider are summarized in the following table:
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