Flipping aliens and rescuing humans in Jetboard Joust
Jetboard Joust is the belated sequel to Skateboard Joust, a 1988 budget game for UK home computers that tasked you with the noble endeavor of seeing just how many enemies you could hit violently in the face with a free-flying skateboard.
So, a limited but still rather enjoyable arcade experience whose worst crime was, perhaps, being released around five years too late to be more fondly remembered. It's also coincidentally the perfect kind of game to expand upon years later because it turns out jousting enemies with a skateboard is a pretty solid mechanic that just needed a little more structure to shine.
Jetboard Joust borrows the core of its design from another arcade game, the honorable Williams classic Defender—though thankfully easing up the difficulty by a hefty amount.
Beamed onto a new stage, you'll find yourself zipping around on your jetboard trying to stop enemies from kidnapping humans and escorting them off into space. You'll be glad to hear your jetboard is fitted with a laser so you can shoot enemies now, not just smash into them. If an enemy succeeds in abducting a human, the enemy will mutate and return to the arena in a much more aggressive and difficult form.
Clear the waves of enemies and Jetboard Joust presents you with a choice: either teleport out and head straight on to the next stage or summon a boss enemy to tackle before you go. Bosses can be quickly—but not so easily—dispatched by jousting them with your jetboard. Manage that, and you'll gain access to that level's treasure room, finding extra weaponry and cash to help in tackling later stages.
As you push deeper into the game, you'll face tougher enemies—and more of them. Dodging and shooting alone likely won't be enough. Learning to joust well becomes an important skill. You'll likely find your initial loadout a hindrance too, so it pays to take on as many bosses as you can (assuming that you want an easier ride).
This is where Jetboard Joust excels and expands upon the arcade games that it borrows so much from. You can mold the difficulty as you progress, whether by planning your route through the game or by acquiring better stats and more powerful weaponry (but only if you want).
Sure, Jetboard Joust is an arcade game, so things will get tougher regardless. How tough though? That's up to you.