Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom

Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom
Company: Sega
Model #:
Year: 1983
Three other Buck Rogers games were planned but never started.


It's the 25th Century and you are Buck Rogers fighting the battle of the planet of Zoom!  At least that's what the instruction manual would have you believe.  But this game could have easily have been called "Space Race" or "Space Fighter", because there's nothing in this generic looking space game that has anything to do with Buck Rogers!  I guess this is one of those movie licenses where you have to use your imagination, but damn it I don't want to use my imagination, that's what video games are for!


Ok now that I've said my piece, we'll get down to the game at hand. Buck Rogers is a fast (and I mean fast!) vertical scrolling shooting game which takes place on the mysterious planet of Zoom! (I guess all the good battles on the planet Boom! were taken).  Buck must guide his spaceship through a series of electron posts as he blasts various enemies in an attempt to catch up with the mother ship.


Each level has a set number of posts that Buck must pass through to complete that level.  Your goal is to fly as fast as possible through the posts without crashing into them (or you'll fry!).  As the levels progress you'll be attacked by flying saucers and space hoppers, these pests will try and crash into your ship so you need to either avoid them or take them out.  Each flying saucer or space hopper shot will count as passing through a post (and take one point off your counter), so shoot as many as possible.  Hurry as fast as you can to the mother ship because your cruiser only has a limited amount of fuel (and if you run out it's a long way to the closest gas station!).  After passing four levels you'll square off with the mother ship.  Of course the mother ship doesn't appear right away, you must fight through a few waves of flying saucers first.  The mother ship will bounce spastically around the screen, trying to wipe you out.  To destroy the mother ship you need to shoot both halves of it or it magically regenerates.  Don't ask why, just accept it!


While it may not be the best game out there, Buck Rogers is certainly above average.  One of the things that makes Buck Rogers so interesting is that you literally control how fast the game moves.  It's often tempting to go full speed through the electron posts to get as high a score as possible, but this kind of reckless flying will only get you killed.  But while putting the pedal to metal will often get you killed, so will driving at a safe speed (you do have a limited amount of fuel you know).  Finding the sweet spot on the speedometer will get you though the levels safely with plenty of time to blast the mother ship out of the sky.  Of course one must ask why the heck do you need to fly through those posts in the first place?


Version Cart Text Description
?????? Buck Rogers Sample Only Final Version


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