One of the strangest 8-bit games you’ll ever play is Fantasy Zone by Sega.

Fantasy Zone is a psychedelic and colorful side-scrolling shooter that was released on a number of platforms in the late 80s.  The gameplay is pretty straight forward and adheres to the side-scrolling shooter genre pretty well.  You pilot Opa-Opa, a small winged fighter pod that has two main weapons, guns and bombs.  In each stage you have several bases to destroy.  Once you’ve blown them all up, you are transported to the boss fight.  Also, each enemy you kill drops cash which you can pick up to upgrade the various parts of your ship (faster flight, more firepower, cluster-bombs, etc).

That’s pretty much it.  No plot, just flying around and shooting brightly-colored enemies.  For all the strangeness, Fantasy Zone is a very fun, and very playable game.  It’s among the few rentals that I was able to beat on a regular basis for the NES and never ended up buying.  That’s actually pretty unfortunate since a cartridge copy of the game will run upwards of $20 these days (or, you know, $120 if you want it still sealed in the box).

I guess this is yet another game that goes on my growing list of “if you see it at a yard sale buy it immediately” games.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

NOTE: My apologies for the continued missed posts.  I blame mk2.