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Asteroids (video game)

The digital 80's

I loved games, and in my infancy I used to be an "adult playing observer", passing hours watching people inserting 25 peseta coins for additional lifespan in Gauntlet, or trying to consume all Out Run's in-game melodies and the colorful USA-wide scroll. Defender, Space Invaders, Galaxian or Donkey Kong are the first ones I remember, full of charm, in bars, mini-golf resources, or swimming pools near León, with a delicious smell to tapas.

Asteroids is a video arcade game released in November 1979 by Atari Inc. It was one of the most popular and influential games of the Golden Age of Arcade Games, selling 70,000 arcade cabinets. Asteroids uses a vector display and a two-dimensional view that wraps around in both screen axes. The player controls a spaceship in an asteroid field which is periodically traversed by flying saucers. The object of the game is to shoot and destroy asteroids and saucers while not colliding with either, or being hit by the saucers' counter-fire.

The game was conceived by Lyle Rains and programmed and designed by Dominic Walsh and Ed Logg. It was implemented on hardware developed by Howard Delman. Asteroids was a hit in the United States and became Atari's best selling game of all time. Atari had been in the process of manufacturing another vector game, Lunar Lander, but demand for Asteroids was so high "that several hundred Asteroids games were shipped in Lunar Lander cabinets." Asteroids was so popular that video arcade operators sometimes had to install larger boxes to hold the number of coins that were spent by players.

Asteroids is also the first game to use Atari's "QuadraScan" vector-refresh system; a full-color version known as "Color-QuadraScan" was later developed for games such as Space Duel and Tempest.


1979 in video gaming
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Asteroids (video game)
Asteroids Deluxe
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Ignacio Javier Gómez Rodríguez (igjav). OS developer. Naive power.