Blast Corps

Blast Corps
Game title:
Blast Corps
Nintendo 64
Rare, Nintendo
Action, Puzzle, Racing
Martin Wakeley, Paul Mountain, Chris Stamper
Graeme Norgate
Game manual:
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Blast Corps is a 1997 action game, developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64, in which the player uses vehicles to destroy buildings in the path of a runaway nuclear missile carrier. In the game's 57 levels, the player solves puzzles by transferring between vehicles to move objects and bridge gaps. It was released in March 1997 in Japan and North America. A wider release followed at the end of that year.

The game was among Rare's first for the Nintendo 64. Its development team ranged between four and seven members, many of whom were recent graduates. The team sought to find gameplay to fit Rare co-founder Chris Stamper's idea for a building destruction game. The puzzle game mechanics were inspired by those of Donkey Kong (1994).

Blast Corps was released to universal acclaim and received Metacritic's second highest Nintendo 64 ratings of 1997. The game sold one million copies—lower than the team's expectations—and received several editor's choice awards. Reviewers highly praised its originality, variety, and graphics, but some critiqued its controls and repetition. Reviewers of Rare's 2015 Rare Replay retrospective compilation noted Blast Corps as a standout title.

Blast Corps is a single-player action video game. The player controls vehicles to destroy buildings, farms, and other structures in the path of a runaway nuclear missile carrier. The player fails if the carrier collides with an object. The eight demolition vehicles vary in the way they clear structures: the bulldozer rams, the dump truck drifts, the lightweight buggy crashes from higher ground, the tricycle shoots missiles, another truck presses outwards from its sides, and robot mechs tumble and stomp from the land and the air. The player must transfer between vehicles and other machinery to solve puzzles. Objectives include transporting timed explosive crates and bridging gaps. The game's puzzles increase in difficulty as the player progresses through its 57 levels.

The world is portrayed from a three-quarters overhead view. The player can adjust the game's viewable perspective with zoom and horizontal panning functions. Pop-up hints will guide the player in the early stages of the game, and other characters audibly encourage the player as each level wears on. The cheery soundtrack increases in tempo as the level's timer runs low. After completing a level, the player can return to explore without a time limit. By finding secrets and activating lights throughout the level, the player raises their score and final medal ranking. There are also secret levels hidden throughout the game, where the player completes objectives against the clock. The player can compete against a ghost copy of their previous path through a level. There are no settings to change the game's difficulty, and the game saves to both the game cartridge itself and external storage.

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