Asteroids

aka: Asteroids (Asteróides), Meteorlar Geliyor
Moby ID: 8872
Arcade Specs
Buy on Game Boy
$12.71 used on eBay
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Description official descriptions

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) in any direction or move the ship forward. Shots will be fired according to the ship's 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 a 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

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Credits (Arcade version)

Developed by
Project Engineer

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 75% (based on 24 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 123 ratings with 8 reviews)

So where is Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck at ?

The Good
Pure old school shooting action ! AKA blow stuff up. More specifically asteroids. That's about all there is to it. The controls were well tuned and and easy to figure out. The downgrade to pixel asteroids from vector asteroids was disappointing, but hey ! YOU GET TO BLOW THEM UP ! Who can argue with fun like that ?

The Bad
No gripes whatsoever ! Period !

The Bottom Line
If you'r in the mood to blow stuff up, I can recommend no other game ! After all these years it's ironic that this is still the game we all play to blow stuff up. Go figure.

Atari 2600 · by GAMEBOY COLOR! (1990) · 2007

Great game. One of the only games I have worth playing on the emulators.

The Good
It just keeps going on, and you get another life every 5,000 points you get. Your not stuck in the middle or just on one line, like other games.

The Bad
Hard to beat.

The Bottom Line
Great game. Definitely one to buy if you own and still play your Atari 2600!

Atari 2600 · by Alex K. (3) · 2003

A timeless classic!

The Good
In the Seventies, Atari released a number of cracking games including Pong, Breakout, and Lunar Lander. They were simple and straight to the point. They continued this tradition with Asteroids. I didn’t experience the game when it first came out in the arcades (I was just born), nor was I able to get a copy of it for the various home systems it was ported to (I only had a Commodore 64). I only discovered it through emulation.

You control a ship that can rotate left and right across the screen, fire from the front, and thrust forward. Numerous asteroids float across the screen, and your job is to break them up. The physics are amazing; if you keep holding the fire button down, your ship will keep zipping across the screen for a long time until it eventually slows down and stops. Your ship can also hyperspace, where you are transported to a random location on screen. It is likely that you will appear on top of an asteroid, especially if there are too many asteroids on the screen.

The asteroids wrap around the screen; when they go off the top edge, they re-appear at the bottom. This means that if you are close to the top or bottom, and you’re not paying any attention to your surroundings, then chances are your ship will be killed. I have noticed that if you do lose a life, your ship will not respawn if there are too many asteroids floating in the same spot; rather it waits until an area is clear of them.

When I played the original arcade version through MAME, I felt that when you fire upon one of the asteroids, the projectiles are very faint and you can’t see where they hit. This has been rectified in the Atari 2600 version. In my opinion, this version is superior to the arcade’s. For a start, there are sixty-six variations. Some of them let you use a shield instead of hyperspace, or face 180 degrees, allowing you to immediately fire upon an asteroid from behind. Then there’s the Deluxe variant. With the shield variation, it is designed to protect you while the asteroids float across your ship. Any more than five seconds, and your ship is destroyed.

One difficulty switch (in the “A” position) enables a blue flying saucer to appear and fire pot shots at you as it makes its way across the screen. Either it takes no notice of its surroundings, crashing into an asteroid, or it fires an accurate shot. If you make it to the later stages, you will be able to meet his little green brother who appears more frequently and is more accurate.

I am not a fan of Atari’s commercial for the game. An annoying, robotic voice I can hardly understand drowns out the dialogue between the actors. From what I can tell, the man of the spaceship went for a treasure hunt somewhere on Earth and managed to find a copy of Asteroids, which he returns to the spaceship to play with his children. They play for hours, to the point where his wife eventually gets so pissed off that she hurls a bowl of fruit at the TV screen. One positive thing I can say about this ad is that what you see and hear on the TV screen is what you’ll get.

The Bad
Why are the asteroids in different colors rather than just hollow like in the arcade version? This applies to all systems as well, not just the Atari 2600 version. Also, users who got the first revision of the machine or the Atari 2600 Jr. are unable to make use of this difficulty, since there is no such thing as a difficulty switch. Eric Schwartz’s “Asteroids Arcade” unofficial hack fixes both of these problems.

The Bottom Line
There is only one word to describe Asteroids: timeless. It can be played when you get home from work and feel like having a blast. If you love those classic Eighties shoot-em-ups, then give this game a try.

Atari 2600 · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2022

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
free browser version Rola (8482) 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.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Game Boy added by Patrick Bregger. Windows, Xbox 360 added by Alaka. Atari 8-bit added by ZZip. Antstream added by lights out party. Arcade added by The cranky hermit.

Additional contributors: Guy Chapman, Echidna Boy, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack, firefang9212.

Game added April 12, 2003. Last modified June 6, 2024.