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Asteroids

MobyRank MobyScore
Atari 8-bit
...
3.3
Atari 2600
...
3.5
Arcade
...
...
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Description

Play the role of a spaceship pilot trapped in a gigantic asteroid cloud and pulverize incoming asteroids with the ship's photon cannon. When all asteroids are destroyed, the player can then move on to the next round. In addition to the asteroids, the player will also face an Alien Robot Saucer which shoots randomly across the screen.

The player using the controller may rotate the ship (left or right) to any direction or move the ship forward. Shots will be fired according to the ship direction. The player has three reserved ships available to replace a destroyed spaceship. The spaceship is destroyed if an asteroid collides with the spaceship or is shot by an Alien Robot Saucer. Additionally, the player may opt to use the hyperspace warp to avoid collision. The warp however, may also destroy the spaceship in the process.

Asteroids when shot will break-up into smaller pieces or be destroyed. There are three types of asteroids: large asteroids, medium asteroids, and small asteroids. Large asteroids and medium asteroids when shot, will break-up into two smaller sized asteroids. Small asteroids when shot will be destroyed.

Alien Robot Saucers come in two sizes: small and large. Both use photon lasers to shoot and will explode when destroyed. Alien Robot Saucers will not appear at the Novice Level.

Game Difficulty and Variations
There are 4 available difficulty settings: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert.

The game also offers three different game variations:
  • Standard Play - For one or two players, taking turns when a player's ship is destroyed.

  • Competition Asteroids - Two players appear on the screen at the same time. Friendly fire is in affect, which means shots fired from one player's spaceship will destroy the other player's spaceship. Each player has separate ship reserves.

  • Team Asteroids - Two players on the screen at the same time. Friendly fire is disabled, which means shots fired from one player's spaceship will not destroy the other player's spaceship and just pass through. Ship reserves for both players are combined.
Scoring
The score of the Player 1 is viewable on the upper left side of the screen, while Player 2 on the opposite upper right side. A player will be awarded a new reserve ship for every 10,000 points.
  • Small saucer - 1,000 points
  • Other player's ship - 500 points
  • Large saucer - 200 points
  • Small asteroid - 100 points
  • Medium asteroid - 50 points
  • Large asteroid - 20 points

Screenshots

Asteroids Arcade Last to hit
Asteroids Atari 8-bit The large flying saucer
Asteroids Atari 2600 Eventually you have lots of little asteroids floating around
Asteroids Arcade 1 coin 1 play

Alternate Titles

  • "Asteroids (AsterĂ³ides)" -- Brazilian Polyvox release

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

An Authentic Arcade Experience. Atari 2600 Guy Chapman (1746)
Addictive and fun title, which shines in simplicity. Atari 2600 vedder (20101)
This is the game I would shovel snow 2 miles uphill to play Atari 2600 lasttoblame (393)
If you are seriously reading reviews to consider buying this game or not, truly humanity has lost all hope. Atari 2600 Matt Neuteboom (941)
Not a port of it's arcade parent but an upgrade! Atari 7800 Jeff Cossey (55)
Great game. One of the only games I have worth playing on the emulators. Atari 2600 Alex K. (3)
So where is Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck at ? Atari 2600 DANIEL HAWKS ! (1928)

The Press Says

The Video Game Critic Atari 7800 May 02, 2004 A 100
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Atari 7800 Jun 26, 2006 10 out of 10 100
The Video Game Critic Atari 2600 Jun 30, 2004 A- 91
Defunct Games Atari 2600 Jan 16, 2014 A- 91
Game Freaks 365 Atari 2600 2005 8.9 out of 10 89
The Atari Times Atari 2600 Nov 10, 2003 88 out of 100 88
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Game Boy May, 1992 82 out of 100 82
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Atari 2600 Sep 25, 2004 7 out of 10 70
Atari Gamer - XL-XE Game Review Edition Atari 8-bit Dec, 2013 7 out of 10 70
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Game Boy May, 1992 7 out of 12 58

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
free browser version 2 Pseudo_Intellectual (43913)
Jan 26, 2014

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Asteroids appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Atari 7800

Asteroids was one of the "Fabulous Eleven" launch games for the Atari 7800.

Controls

The original Asteroids arcade control scheme (five buttons, no joystick) is identical to the configuration employed in the early PDP-1 Spacewar! implementation.

References

Internally at Atari the two flavours of UFO in Asteroids (slow and fast) were referred to as "Mr. Bill" and "Sluggo", after characters in Saturday Night Live skits. After this was disclosed in an interview, Atari was sent a cease-and-desist letter by NBC's lawyers.

References to the game

Asteroids was popular enough to have a song inspired by it on the full-length Pac-Man Fever album: Hyperspace.

Technology

The original Coin-Op game of Asteroids in the arcade machines contained 4 kilobytes of code and 4 kilobytes of graphic data. Programmers managed to squeeze it in to 1 kilobyte of data for the Atari 2600!

Information also contributed by PCGamer77, Pseudo_Intellectual, Scott Monster and FatherJack.
Contributed to by Patrick Bregger (100825), ZZip (798), The cranky hermit (474) and Servo (55897)