Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Raster Blaster

Raster Blaster
Raster Blaster

SystemAtari 8-bit
Floppy (5.25")1


Atari 8-bit

Release Date: 1/1/1982
Manufacturer: BudgeCo
Raster Blaster is a 1981 computer pinball game for the Apple II resembling the classic Firepower table. It was written and designed by Bill Budge and published by BudgeCo. This is the 1982 port to the Atari.

The game showed a fullscreen high resolution display of a pinball game table. The 6502-based Apple II was not designed to support fast graphics and collision detection, but Budge mastered these problems and the game ran with such speed and visual accuracy that it stood head-and-shoulders above other arcade-style games of its day.

Raster Blaster was one of the major hits of the "plastic baggies on pegboards" era of computer game stores, and Budge followed it with the seminal Pinball Construction Set (1982).

Even as the second game took off in sales, Budge and his sister were being overwhelmed by all the tasks involved in running the business. It took all of Budge's energy to just keep things going, let alone write games.

Electronic Arts (EA) was formed that same year, and founder Trip Hawkins was impressed by Budge's titles. He approached Budge (with the help of Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak) and invited him to join the initial group of EA developers, and leave the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution issues behind. Budge agreed, and became the central figure among EA's highly publicized designers. Pinball Construction Set became a mainstream hit, and the top title in EA's original line-up.

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