Written by  :  Lee Seitz (722)
Written on  :  Dec 29, 1999
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
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A classic update that doesn't loose the hectic feel of the original.

The Good

Activision's new Asteroids still plays like the original, but the graphics and sound are more current. Although it's still mostly you against the rocks, there's now a variety of asteroid types and enemy ship types. This game requires all the fast reflexes of the original. If you hesitate, you will likely die.

The Bad

The game is a little too complicated. In the original, it was rotate right, rotate left, thrust, fire, and for emergencies, hyperspace. Now you have all those, plus shields and "flip," which instantly flips your ship 180 degrees. While they're all interesting features, there's just a few too many buttons for me to think about when I've got five asteroids and a UFO coming at me from six different directions.

Then there's the power-ups: all 16 of them. Thirteen of those are "wildcard weapons" that you can use to help destroy stuff. That's all well and good, but it's hard to remember which is which, particularly when they all tend to look alike. Granted, there's never more than one or two per level, but I don't want to pause my game just to see if it's a weapon I might like.

The Bottom Line

This is an intense action game, just like the original. Each zone starts fairly easy, but the final levels of each are tough. Add to that the number of buttons and different power-ups to keep track of and you have a game that's probably not for beginners. Thirty-somethings who were kids when the original coin-op came out 20 years ago may be able to keep up, but fifty-somethings who were thirty-somethings then might have a hard time.