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Meteors (DOS)

Meteors DOS Title screen

MISSING COVER

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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40602)
Written on  :  Jun 20, 2017
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
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Summary

A nice early Apogee game that is a blast to play once in a while

The Good

Meteors was designed by Apogee founder Scott Miller, at a time when the company was just established. Titles made then were designed to run on any computer, regardless of microprocessor type and speed (But good luck trying to run it on any 64-bit Windows systems!). The game was included on the Puzzle Fun-Pak, which was distributed on one floppy disk, along with three other games made by independent developers. In my opinion, the game should not have been included in the compilation, considering that it doesn’t require you to think at all. Also, later on in life, the game got renamed to Asteroid Rescue, in much the same way Halloween Harry was renamed to Alien Carnage

The idea behind the game is that your ship, the Space Eagle, is called out to a section of space where the scientific space station, the USS Sagan, got torn apart by an asteroid field, stranding several of its astronauts, and your job is to rescue them. Meteors is a bit difficult to get used to, because the Eagle keeps moving forward, and you can’t speed up or slow down, and you can only go left or right. Once you get used to it, however, the game is a blast to play.

There are a lot of asteroids that get between you and the astronauts, but you start the game with a few missiles that will deal with them. More can be collected on your journey, along with extra fuel and shields. Out of all of these, it is obvious which item is the fuel since it is the only one blinking. The Space Eagle will withstand quite a few hits, and if you’re lucky the game warns you when the ship is about to be destroyed, giving you enough time to collect shields.

The user interface is similar to the Kroz games but with different information such as the number of astronauts rescued, current quadrant, fuel level, and shields. When it comes to the graphics, Meteor uses the IBM PC character set to display graphics, and if you played any of the Kroz games, you would be familiar with most of these. The asteroids should be obvious as they are a mixture of letter Os (both upper and lower case), degree signs, and periods, while the astronauts are smiley faces.

As for the sound effects, there are no original ones; the effects in this game are reused from Kroz. One example being the sound you hear when you collide with an asteroid, which is also the same one you hear when you touch lava in Kroz.

The Bad

I didn't like the keys that you have to use to control the game, as they are too spread out. Getting to know the control scheme caused me to crash into an asteroid, and I ended up accidentally using hyperspace instead of firing my laser.

The Bottom Line

Meteors is a simple game from Apogee released in the mid-'80s, where you navigate your spaceship through an asteroid field, rescuing astronauts that became stranded after their vessel breaks. The game uses assets from Kroz, and like that game, the keys will take some time to get used to. The game is suitable when you are taken some time off work, and just need a quick blast of something.