Evolution of the tree


Star Wars, Famicom, 1987
When the Death Star explodes at the end of each wave of this arcade classic, you’re ‘treated’ to a magnificent display of expanding circles. You know, lines. And they change colour. It’s exactly like the movie except for the way it looks. And sounds.

Desert Strike, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, 1992

How on Earth did we put up with this? Desert Strike was an amazing game in its day – controversial even, for its portrayal of conflict in the Gulf. But now? Look at that explosion. It has all the chaotic, destructive power of a punctured lilo.

G-Police, PSone, 1997

Sony’s first console turned up the explosion quota with some great conflagrations. See how the fireball here is slightly see-through. That sort of thing got people very excited in the mid-nineties. But then again, so did Vanilla Ice and Furbies.

Mercenaries, PS2/Xbox, 2005

The last gen gave us some mighty fine explosions to admire, not least in Mercenaries. You could call in massive air strikes and raze entire buildings to the ground. We especially like the way little bits
of shrapnel go flying off leaving fiery trails in the air.

Super Stardust HD, PS3, 2007

Particle effects all the way here, as Super Stardust HD goes supernova. If you buy the downloadable booster pack, you get even better explosions. And with thousands of fiery particles burning up the screen, you’ll need an HDTV to enjoy them.