Wednesday, 6 February 2013

#8 Asteroids

Released: 1979 - Arcade

Developer: Atari
Played: 4th February 2013 - MAME Emulator & ROM

There's something about Asteroids, i'm not sure what it is, but there’s definitely something about it. Everytime my little triangular spaceship is pulverized buy a gigantic see through asteroid a little part of my heart dies. You can tell that despite the simplicity of the gameplay and especially the graphics, that extra care was given to the physics, here it’s beautifully programmed for such an old title and responds to the slightest of movements, a tiny thrusters boost and your ship will glide weightlessly through the void to move out of the way of the oncoming onslaught of spaceships and seemingly weighty titular Asteroids, much like you imagine it would in reality.

Whilst other games at the same time were coming out with coloured graphics, home consoles and fancy controls Asteroids kept it simple and built its appeal on good old fashioned Arcade gameplay. You play as a triangle with thrusters and the aim is simple, blow up everything in sight, the more asteroids you destroy the more points you’ll get, but as you shoot them they’ll split and multiply meaning you’re soon faced with darting through a field shooting your way to freedom. Turn your ship and thrust it in any direction to avoid the boulders, the beauty here is that if you leave one edge of the screen you’ll reappear on the other side, the same with your bullets, meaning you can make a quick getaway by flying off one side of the screen, but it can at the same time be detrimental if you’re not careful as you could easily end up disintegrating on the side of giant space rock. UFO’s dart between the Asteroids every now and again to offer up a change and a points boost, but shoot them quick as they’re just as likely to be splattered into a million pieces as you are.