|Action, Adventure, Flight Simulation, First-person Shooter, Open-world|
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Jet Rocket was an electro-mechanical arcade game developed by SEGA in the late 1960s. It was originally released in Japan, and then released in North America in August 1970. It was notable for being the first flight simulator electronic game, the earliest first-person shooter, and the first open-world game.
An early 3D flight simulator game, it used video projection to display a 3D game world on screen. It introduced free-roaming flight movement over an open-ended 3D landscape, for the first time in an electronic game, with players flying around in a first-person perspective and shooting at various landmarks across the game world.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Using controls which look like that of a cockpit, the player controls the jet by joystick handle and aims rockets to intercept target areas such as fuel dumps, missile sites, island fortresses and airstrips in a night mission. Pushing the firing button fires the rocket. When a target is hit, the rocket explodes and score (5 points per hit) is indicated. Ground impact explosions are marked by light and sound effects.
The cockpit controls move the player aircraft around the 3D landscape displayed on a screen and shoot missiles onto targets that explode when hit.
Development and release[edit | edit source]
SEGA Production and Engineering Department, led by Hisashi Suzuki, developed Jet Rocket in the late 1960s. It was originally released in Japan sometime between the late 1960s and 1970. Soon after its North American release in 1970, it was cloned by three Chicago manufacturers. Jet Rocket inspired several clones, including Bally's Target Zero and Williams' Flotilla, both released in December 1970. This negatively affected the game's performance in America, and temporarily put a halt to Sega's export business, before recovering later.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
It featured shooting and flight movement in a 3D environment from a first-person perspective, like first-person vehicle combat video games such as Battlezone (1980) and Hovertank 3D (1991). This makes Jet Rocket the earliest first-person shooter (FPS), predating the 1974 computer games Maze War and Spasim.
The game had free-roaming flight movement over an open-ended 3D landscape, for the first time in an electronic game, with players able to fly around and shoot at various landmarks across the game world. This makes it the first open-world game. Open-world arcade flight simulators such as SEGA's Jet Rocket (1970) and its clones Flotilla and Target Zero influenced the development of free-roaming flight simulator video games such as Flight Simulator (1980), which in turn influenced open-world space simulators such as Elite (1984), and which in turn influenced Grand Theft Auto (1997).
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Carl Therrien, Inspecting Video Game Historiography Through Critical Lens: Etymology of the First-Person Shooter Genre, Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research, Volume 15, issue 2, December 2015, ISSN 1604-7982