Blast Corps is a 3D top-down vehicular action-puzzle game developed by Rareware and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 in Japan (on March 21, 1997), North America (on March 24, 1997), and Europe (on December 22, 1997).
A game focused on wide-scale environmental destruction, Blast Corps puts players in control of a pilot of the titular "Blast Corps": a group of heavy-duty demolition experts with unique talents and a variety of cutting-edge technology (including the use of heavy-duty vehicles and humanoid mechs). The game's story involves a global crisis, as the group must escort a runaway missile carrier (carrying leaking nuclear missiles) to a "ground zero" for a controlled detonation.
In each of the main levels, players must clear a path for the carrier by using special demolition vehicles to completely level buildings in the way. Along the way, they encounter puzzles requiring them to use special techniques (such as making wide swerves with the "Backlash" or pushing TNT crates with the "Ramdozer") or to switch between vehicles (as the player can dismount their vehicle at any time). They game also includes bonus objectives and side missions (including general destruction and racing).
The game was later ported to the Xbox One as part of the 2015 Rare Replay compilation.
The game is broken up into several types of levels scattered across a map over the world. On each level the player must use demolition and go through puzzles to achieve the goal. The player usually begins in a demolition vehicle, but can exit the vehicle as the Pilot.
The Carrier Levels are the main portion of the game. The player is in control of a member of the Blast Corps crew, whose task is to control a wide variety of vehicles to destroy any building or debris that may obstruct the nuclear carrier's path. Players are limited on time, as the carrier can not be slowed down or stopped. In addition to destroying buildings with vehicles, players must sometimes solve puzzles, such as pushing around TNT crates to destroy more robust structures, use large blocks to fill holes, and move trains, to name a few.
The player can leave vehicles and move around as The Pilot, who can enter other vehicles as needed. Different vehicles have their uses and weaknesses. Once the carrier’s path is clear, the player is free to enter the Blast Corps semi to end the level, or continue exploring. Successfully completing a carrier level unlocks the levels around it. Players can choose whether to continue with the next carrier level or complete a number of side missions.
Certain buildings in the level contain survivors, which once freed will be picked up automatically by the Blast Corps chopper. Scattered across the levels are small objects that light up as the player passes over them called Radiation Dispersal Units (RDUs). There are also special (and more rare) collectables such as communication devices that unlock additional levels, and scientists that are required for later missions.
Players receive medals on a level to show progress. Clearing the path for the carrier earns a gold medal, and then a second medal is given depending on the number of survivors, buildings destroyed, and RDUs collected by the player. After the initial clear, the player can enter the level without a time limit and search for all of the collectables for 100% completion.
Points are received for every medal, and then as points accumulate, the player receives promotions. There are 31 ranks, and a promotion is given every 12 points. Bronze medals are worth 1 point, silvers are 2, gold are 3, and platinum medals are worth 4.
Extra levels are usually time trials, which require the player to accomplish certain tasks under a time limit, such as destroying a certain number of buildings, race around a track for multiple laps, or collect all RDUs. Some levels of the side missions are tutorials for some of the more unusual or hard-to-control vehicles. The Bonus Levels sometimes feature environmental hazards, like lava, that cause the player to lose. Some levels are set in unusual settings, like one level where the player has to push TNT blocks down the pockets of a pool table. Some levels require the player to clear the path for a space shuttle, which opens a set of levels on the Moon and planets like Venus and Mars. Medals in side missions are given based on the finishing time.
- Ramdozer - A simple bulldozer, and typically the default vehicle. Great against small buildings, but doesn't have the power to easily take down more robust structures. Can also be used to push around TNT crates and large blocks.
- J-Bomb - Aerial robot that uses a jetpack to achieve height then can rapidly descend to crush buildings.
- Backlash - A dumptruck that must be put into a skid to gain enough power to ram buildings. Very difficult to control.
- Sideswipe - A semi-like vehicle with special rams along its trailer. The player hits a button to extend the rams into buildings. Requires ammunition.
- Skyfall - A fast buggy with a speed booster. Can only destroy buildings by gaining lift from a ramp and falling onto the buildings.
- Thunderfist - A robot that plows through buildings by tumbling and smashing through with its fist.
- Cyclone Suit - A smaller robot that can destroy buildings by rolling into them.
- Ballista - A fast-moving motorcycle that can shoot ballistic missiles straight forward. Like Sideswipe, it requires ammunition.
- American Dream
- Muscle Car
- Police Car
Railed and Stationary Vehicles