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Shooter/Fixed Screen Shooter
EVERYONE, Mild Animated Violence
Syrox Developments, Ltd.
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In April 1980, the original, vector graphics version of Asteroids kicked Space Invaders off its lofty perch as the nation's top quarter-muncher and held this spot in the Arcades for a solid year. Nearly 20 years later, the game gets a 3D facelift and a hefty dose of new features and options via Asteroids for the PC.
Just like in the Asteroids game of yore, this rendition has you piloting a triangular ship around the screen, blasting volcanic space rocks into smaller and smaller pieces until they are gone. You can thrust, rotate clockwise and counterclockwise, and fire an unlimited amount of ammo. If you fly off the screen, you'll appear on the other side. If the action gets too intense, you can warp into hyperspace and appear in a random location on the screen. The game borrows a feature from Asteroids Deluxe (the Arcade sequel to the original Asteroids that equips ships with shields).
Features new to the Asteroids formula include space rocks of varying attributes: Alien Egg Asteroids release dangerous alien offspring when destroyed; Ancient Energy Asteroids absorb your laser's energy and send it back your way; Mined Asteroids are surrounded with highly volatile explosives; Indestructible Asteroids are impervious to any type of weapon; and Crystal Asteroids will reform if not dispatched in due time. Other unique types of laser fodder include space debris and fireball comets.
In the 1979 version of Asteroids, a flying saucer, which came in two sizes (big and little), would occasionally appear onscreen to shoot for extra points. In this update, there are still flying saucers as well as lots of new enemies (twelve in all), such as Fuel Transports, Living Turret Cruisers, Repulser Beams and Nuke Drivers. Risking your neck against these enemies and asteroids gets big bucks from the Astro-Mining Corporation to clear areas of space for shipping equipment, to mine valuable ores, and to provide transportation routes for the military and civilians. You'll encounter five zones in all.
Another addition to this next-generation Asteroids is the inclusion of Wildcard Weapons, which you will find floating around space. You can acquire Mines, Trigger Bombs, Robo Walls, Homing Missiles and nine other exotic forces of destruction. Also, choose from four different ships, each rated according to rotation, thrust, shields and firepower.
You can play Asteroids by yourself or compete against a friend in single screen, simultaneous action. In the two-player mode, gamers race to destroy large asteroid belts. Gameplay in either mode takes place in two-dimensional space with 3D rendered backgrounds. Hidden somewhere in this game is the classic Atari coin-op version of Asteroids in all its black-and-white glory. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide