Developer(s) – Atari Inc.
Publisher(s) – Atari Inc.
Designer(s) – Lyle Rains & Ed Logg
Rating – N/A
Being one of the standout titles of the second generation of gaming, Asteroids became an instant success, garnishing unit sales of over $150,000,000, and $500,000,000 in coin drops at arcades. It is still re-released on many different home consoles to this day and remains a very strong cult classic among fans with an appreciation for their routes, and newer gamers looking to experience the previous generation of gaming. Though I was born during the third generation of gaming, I have recently made more of effort to delve into earlier gaming generations, and so far, Asteroids has been one of my favorite games of the second generation; up there with the likes of Bosconian, Pac-Man and Yars’ Revenge.
Graphics – 6/10
The visuals depend largely on what version of the game one may be playing. The arcade cabinet version of the game was simply black and white, and the home console version had a black background with colored asteroids since home consoles relied heavily on the use of different colors. In this instance, I am going by the home console version, since in my opinion, it’s the superior version of the two. I think that although the game’s sprites pretty basic, the developers did incorporate very effective use of color compared to many other games at the time, I also think they did have the facility to add a little more design to the ship, and they didn’t.
Gameplay – 9/10
The concept of Asteroids is simple; move around the screen shooting as many asteroids as possible before losing all lives. The more asteroids destroyed, the higher the player’s score. Insanely addictive and enjoyable to play, Asteroids embodies the pinnacle of what a great video game could have ever expected to be at the time, and still largely holds up to this day, in my opinion.
Controls – 10/10
There are no issues with the controls whatsoever. How well the game plays out depends entirely on the player’s skill and attention to what is going on in the game, which was fairly difficult to do at the time, since I have found some issues concerning things like hit detection and general movement in a fair few games of the era.
Originality – 7/10
There were many different shooting games around at the time, and even more, games revolving around racking up the highest score possible. But very few games were laid out as this one was, or as addictive or engrossing as this.
In Summation, Asteroids to me is a timeless classic; a shining example of exceptional video game design during the late 70s and early 80s. Truly, a wonderful and immersing early gaming experience.