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While this is not one of the most common cartridges available for the 5200, I like the game play, and can definitely recommend it for people looking for an arcade-style game for the 5200.
Astro Chase is such a pretty game to look at, it seems a shame that it isn't more exciting to play. And that's perplexing, because at first blush Astro Chase looks like a space game with everything. It's got shield depots, it's got energy generators and it's got pulsating enemy mines so powerful that just one of them can blow up the entire Earth. It's got a screen full of zillions of colorful asteroids, planets and stars, and a picture of Earth so good it looks like it came right off the schoolroom wall. And then there are eight different kinds of enemy spaceships, 34 difficulty levels and no less than seven different animation sequences.
Once the game begins, however, the gorgeous 3-D starfield is just another 2-D maze -- with round obstructions instead of walls --through which you must carefully dodge in order to ray down the mines creeping towards the Earth. Enemy spaceships show up at odd intervals to distract you from your main job of eliminating the mines, and you can either shoot them or ram them. It seems the celebrated First Star designer Fernando Herrera either ran out of room for, or forgot about, challenging and innovative game action. Astro Chase is one big letdown and serves as a reminder that graphics are only skin deep.
Your ship can fire in eight directions, but the squirrelly controls make it impossible to aim with any sort of precision. Combine that frustration with the fact that you're constantly getting caught up in the scenery, and it adds up to a thoroughly miserable experience. Despite my overwhelming desire to stop playing, the game constantly awarded me with extra ships -- extending the duration of my agony. The music also sucks. It's one of those generic old tunes that everybody recognizes (but nobody knows the name of) and it seems terribly inappropriate. Astrochase is pure garbage. I've gotten more enjoyment out of games that refused to load.