Tuesday, May 10, 2011

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 93: Laser Attack (Milton Bradley; 1978)


In 1978 -- during the late age of electronic board games (and the dawn of the video game age..) -- Milton Bradley released Laser Attack, a "sensational space-age game" for ages "7 to adult." 

Here was the set-up for Laser Attack, as spelled out in the instructions:

"Our galaxy has been invaded by an alien Space Station whose powerful laser beam is drawing vital energy pods away from your spaceships." 

"Your mission is to attack and destroy this violator of the Inter-Galactic Peace Accord."

"You must gather up your scattered energy pods before you risk an assault on the Space Station.  Then, using your energy pods, you block its ports, causing the laser to overload and self-destruct."

The back of the Laser Attack box offers some recommendations for game play:

"For fantastic visual excitement, turn down the lights when you play Laser Attack.  In the dimness, the pulsating light of the laser is intensified as it shoots out from the hostile alien Space Station which has invaded our universe."

"Your mission as captain of an inter-galactic spacecraft is to attack the enemy Space Station and destroy its deadly laser beam."

"In your trek through space, gathering up your scattered forces, be aware of the danger you face.  Plot your course carefully through the Destruction Zone because your spaceship may be blasted by the laser and suffer the loss of one of your vital energy pods.  In the dark, if your translucent craft is struck by the dreaded laser, it will glow as if on fire!"

The dreaded space station in Laser Attack is a finely-detailed dome, and one molded entirely in black.  It operates on two double A batteries, and when a player spins the button at the top of the station, a light emanates from a line of key-hole shaped ports.    Moving the aforementioned "translucent" ships across the board, you must navigate the "damage zone" and finally "the destruction zone."  Then, you plug your energy pods into the station.

I received this unusual old game for Christmas when I was nine years old, and have never forgotten it.  As a kid, I basically just wanted the evil black space station as a toy, though the game was a lot of fun too.

Again, this borad game probably looks like a dinosaur in the age of high-tech video games.

But in 1978, Laser Attack was state of the art, and a must-have toy.  Anyone else have memories of playing this one?

5 comments:

  1. While it's true enough that I pretty much grew up on video games, and never really had many of the more elaborate board games, I have to say, that thing really does look fun.

    And a nicely modeled station, it is.

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  2. Hi Sirrus,

    I began video games in around 1979 with Atari, so I do love video games as well, but I really have a strange fondness (and obsession...) with these electronic games, like Laster Attack, Lakeside's Intercept, Merlin, Blip and Computer Perfection.

    The Laser Attack game is really fun. My four year old son loves it, at least! :)

    Thanks for the comment!

    best,
    JKM

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  3. Holy Cow! That is a blast from the past. I had that game as a kid and had completely forgotten aboput it until now. Thank you for reviving old memories. : )

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  4. Yeah, I really enjoyed the occasional electronic games I got my hands on. Computer Perfection though? I've honestly never heard of that one.

    Sounds like it would lack the intrinsic value of really hurrying so that you didn't need to pick up every piece when the clock ran out. Again.

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  5. What I remember most about Laser Attack was the commercial which made it sound ominous and scary (I couldn't find it on You Tube to refresh my memory). My older brother had this game, but wouldn't let me play with him and his friends. Looking back, that was probably due to the fact that it was my bedtime. I had gotten the impression that it was one of those games that "wasn't for kids."

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