Asteroids arcade game is another video game which made its mark as one of the most popular retro arcade games during its time. This classic space shooter arcade was developed by renowned people from Atari, Lyle Raines and Ed Logg, in 1979. At the time of its release, Asteroids had instantly gained prominence among arcade players due to its top-notch graphic display and gameplay features. It even dethroned Space Invaders as the most sought space shooting game during that time.
Its developers boast its vector display technology which project high resolution vector-scan screens that uses lines for its graphics. This type of technology produces sharper and clearer images for video games, which is also seen as the best alternative in producing such games. Vector display technology was also used in another classic game from Atari, the Lunar Lander. But compared with Asteroids, Lunar Lander didn't experience the same fame that it did.
Aside from its immersive graphics advancements, Asteroids also made its name in the game boards with its unique gameplay features as a space themed shooting game.
Asteroids' main goal is to shoot down asteroids - this time, no alien shooters or invaders - floating around space to earn points. Players must guide a spaceship in shooting these huge space rocks to break them into smaller pieces - which eventually should be destroyed. They must also maneuver past floating debris in space and destroy these asteroids completely to advance to the next stage.
Players should be aware that bits of the destroyed asteroid will move faster and may damage the spaceship if not completely destroyed. It is best for them to smartly hover past these fragments to conserve their lives. Upon completion, new sets of huge asteroids will appear which will start the new stage level.
They can also spot UFOs flying around the screen which will shoot or intentionally crash to them. Players need to instantly eliminate these spacecrafts to avoid further damage to their own ships. Moreover, these special vessels reward bonus points once they are destroyed.
Players should accumulate as many points as they can before they die to beat the machine's high score.
Other Similar Variants
For some players of various retro arcade games, the classic Asteroids game may look very simple and dull because of its stagnant gaming graphics. This led its developers, Atari, to improve the original space shooting game to entice more players and satisfy the interests of the old ones.
This is the improved version of the Asteroids arcade game which was also released in 1980. Asteroids Deluxe features animated gaming graphics, more immersive gameplay, and upgraded game sounds for its players. The developers also updated the game with a colorful background for an in-depth gaming experience for its players.
Atari also introduced a game with a multiplayer capability which allows more than one gamer to play in the machine. Space Duel was released in 1982 with the use of color vector graphics which brought composites of physics to its gameplay. However, this game didn't settle well in the industry because players felt odd on the strange items being blasted on screen.
In 1987, Atari revamped the classic alien shooting game to Blasteroids. The developers used raster images rather than the conventional vector screens to feature more detailed gaming graphics. Blasteroids also introduced new features like power-ups and ship-morphing ability for a more immersive gaming experience.
This is another Asteroids-like shooting game which was developed and released by Sega - another renowned gaming developer in the industry - in 1981. Space Fury somehow carried all gameplay features of Asteroids but presented them in a fast-paced action game which truly excite their players.
There are also other home versions of Asteroids developed during its prime. These include game consoles like Atari 7600, ST line, Lynx, and 8-bit computer line.
Asteroids Winning Strategies
Aside from knowing the basics, newbies can learn a lot from experts who have managed to develop several winning strategies. Here are some of the most common tips and hints from them on how to excel in Asteroids.
Lock-in the Saucers
Clearing off asteroids may be the primary goal of this game, but experts consider the UFOs more important than these floating space debris. Players should always pay attention every time they appear on the screen. They need to take them out immediately as these saucers also shoot towards their main spaceship - or even crash directly if it nears it. Aside from the risk of losing lives, these flying saucers may also shoot on asteroids which destroys it and creates more asteroids. This challenges players more as they need to avoid both the saucer attacks and smaller asteroids.
Score more with the Bonus Saucers
Even though they are dangerous elements in space, these flying saucers reward more points than the asteroids. Experts advise beginners to focus more on eliminating UFOs as one small saucer gives them 1,000 points instantly. They may leave two or three asteroids floating on the screen, wait for saucers to pass by, and shoot them down to earn easy points. This strategy, also known as the ambush strategy, will surely rake up their total score.
Easily Earn Bonus Lives
Asteroids also give its players extra lives every time they earn 10,000 points. Thus, using the ambush strategy above will also rake up their life meter. Players just need to destroy 10 small saucers, and that's one extra life for them.
Hyperspace for Emergencies Only
Players are also advised to only use Hyperspace during emergency situations. Regularly using it may just increase risks of getting hit by a passing asteroid or be an easy target for the enemy saucers.