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Rare Replay: ‘Blast Corps’ makes for hours of non-stop destruction

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While there’s a long and varied laundry list of games that have challenged you to save the world, and more than a few that have challenged you to destroy it, Blast Corps must be the first game to task you with saving the world by destroying it.

Let me elaborate. You see, Blast Corps centers around the idea of a runaway nuclear armaments truck which is on a collision course with civilization. Since the truck is unmanned, non-interceptible, and unstoppable, the only option left to mankind is the evacuation and destruction of everything in its path.

That’s where you come in. Players fill the role of a member of the Blast Corps, special operatives tasked with safely crumbling entire city sections in hopes of creating a path for the enroaching payload. You can accomplish this  by utilizing one of the many vehicles and tools at your disposal, ranging from a simple bulldozer to giant bipedal robots, and everything in between.

Doubtlessly, this is all a bit insane as far as logic goes but the idea that toppling civilization deliberately might serve to save it in some practical sense is a bit of fun motivation, and fun is definitely the operative word here. Blast Corps is a blast (if you’ll kindly excuse that pun) to play. It’s also surprisingly deep. The amount of strategy required to clear the way is barely at a grade school level to begin with but it quickly increases to almost insurmountable levels as the speed of the truck increases and the obstacles become more and more difficult to destroy during the allotted time.

Further complications arise in the form of surviving citizens who have missed or refused the evacuation order. These situations force you to be creative, either rushing back and forth between your two tasks, or finding a way to unite them as one. The frantic  feeling of smashing out the last building just before the tractor-trailer collides with it is a rush that few games can provide with this level of satisfaction.

Almost 20 years later, Blast Corps is still a veritable mountain of destructive fun, and is one of the finest games that the once legendary Rare produced as a Nintendo development house. Though many have clamored for a sequel as the years have tallied up since, those involved felt that the idea was a bit of a one-trick-pony and (to stretch a metaphor) they didn’t want to milk it anymore than they already had.

But what a magical, and milkable, pony it was.

This article is part of our month-long spotlight on Rare Studios.

Mike Worby is a human who spends way too much of his free time playing, writing and podcasting about pop culture. Through some miracle he's still able to function in society as if he were a regular person, and if there's hope for him, there's hope for everyone.

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