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Shooter/Fixed Screen Shooter
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Reactor is one of the most abstract early 80s arcade games this side of Qix. In this Tim Skelly masterpiece you're floating inside a nuclear reactor attempting to bounce various harmful particles away from yourself. Several control rods are planted on the rim of the playing field, and bouncing particles into these rods prevents the reactor's core at the center of the screen from expanding and trapping you; bouncing into the walls of the reactor is lethal for both the particles and you. Luring particles into two smaller chambers by planting short-lived "decoys" will cause them to bounce wildly and earn you bonus points. The chambers disappear once used, and you possess only a few decoys per level. In later levels, the reactor at the center of the screen is unshielded, and its powerful gravity sucks in your adversaries (and you if you pass too close).
Reactor's liquid-smooth trackball control gives it a zero-gravity feel, and the sound effects are effective, showcasing what may be the first slammin' techno music ever incorporated into a videogame. The graphics are basic because...well, how would you draw a particle, or a nuclear reaction? Reactor is a unique page in arcade history, a completely original premise of microscopic particles that made for big-time fun. ~ Earl Green, All Game Guide