a game by Activision, and Syrox Development
Genre: Shooting Games
Platforms: GameBoy Color, PC, Playstation, PSX, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 7.7/10, based on 5 reviews, 7 reviews total
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
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See also: Asteroids Games


This is an update of the classic arcade game. There isn’t much to say about it if you’ve seen the original before. You control a little ship starting in the center of an asteroid field and blast various obstacles before they crash into you. There’s a cursory cinematic intro with a storyline that’s about as in-depth as the description on the box.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

The game in many ways feels like the original -- nothing much has changed. You get to shoot asteroids, crystals and UFOs and get floating weapons upgrades now and then. The controls really are the same. The amount of thrust, fire rate and drift is almost identical to the original (with variations for the individual ships you can choose from), which may be due to the rumored inclusion of the original game code in this latest update. The pre-set keyboard commands are terrible -- if you want to play from the keyboard, you'll want to set them yourself. Using a gamepad also works well.


Very pretty. This is what they spent the bulk of their upgrade work on. It’s very lovely to look at, and lends a bit more realism and depth to the simple game.


Nice 3D explosions -- if you have a good sound card you’ll enjoy this aspect. Otherwise there isn’t much to hear.

System Requirements

Win 9x, P-90, 16 MB RAM, 70 MB HD space, 4X CD-ROM drive, PCI or AGP 2 MB video card, 16 bit color, DirectX 6

Recommended: P 133+, 32 MB RAM

Bottom Line

If you liked the original game and all its sequels, such as Asteroids Deluxe and Asteroids 3D, you’ll like this, but you’ll probably notice a pattern: not much has changed. The game is definitely much prettier to look at, and the side-by-side multiplayer and ship selection options are neat, but the game is basically the same. If that’s what you want from it, play to your heart’s content. However, after seeing what can be done to update other classic games, such as Centipede and Frogger, it’s kind of a disappointment to see no real changes in the gameplay. I would have been thrilled to find a 3D first person playfield, or ? view, or something besides just the flat wrap screen they have had for 20 years. If all you want is the original game experience, I’d rather spend my cash actually buying one of the original arcade machines. So much more could have been done with this besides just a face lift. Buy it if you must, but wait until it hits the bargain bins.

Game Reviews

Fans of this Atari coin-op classic might think that you have to have rocks in your head to tackle Asteroids on the Game Boy. They may be right.

Your space ship is stuck smack dab in the middle of a nasty asteroid belt and the only chance of survival is to destroy them with your Photon Cannon before they destroy you. Novice, Intermediate, or Advanced play levels enable you to begin with either two, four, or six asteroids oncreen. When you blast an asteroid it separates into two medium asteroids. When you blast a medium asteroid it becomes two very, very small asteroids. Destroy all the asteroids onscreen, and you begin again on a new level with more asteroids.

The basic name of the game is to score points and stay alive. UFO's add a little variety by hunting you at random points in the game. Again, get them before they get you.

Sound simple? It is. However, Asteroids tans may find this cart a nice walk down memory lane...but only if they're currently wearing bifocals. Asteroids on the small screen is... well... small! Solo players can expect to be blown to bits, often without ever seeing what hit them. However two players get good fun either in head-to-head competition or in Team Play. If you thought Asteroids was dynamite in the arcades...hold on to that memory.


  • The strategy is simple: Shoot at whatever's closest to you. And remember, shoot offscreen on one side and your shots reappear on the other.
  • The Hyperspace option zaps you to random spots onscreen when you're cornered, but you may rematerialize in a worse predicament!


Asteroids addicts, look out!! Asteroids is back and better than ever in Activision's latest 3D version of the game. It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since Atari released the original Asteroids back in 1979. It was a huge success, and millions of people of all ages became hooked on the game. Activision has done an excellent job of taking Asteroids to the next level, with gameplay, graphics and playing fields that will keep you coming back for more, especially if you're a veteran of the older version (which has also been included in the game -- when you reach a certain level, Classic Asteroids can be unlocked, allowing you to play the original game that started it all).


The original version of Asteroids was played on a black playing field, meant to represent outer space. Activision has added 5 different playing zones with 15 different levels you must complete before moving on to the next level. This version of Asteroids has you up against much more than just asteroids and enemy spaceships. There are six different types of asteroids, and each one has unique characteristics that you must be aware of. There is even one type of asteroid that is indestructible. Your best bet is to just stay as far away as you can from this one. Watch out for the "Crystal Asteroids," which when hit will leave behind fragments that you must also blast immediately, or they will grow into full-sized Crystals very quickly. There are also "Alien Egg Asteroids," which will release baby space worms on impact. These little guys are out to get you, so you'd better be prepared to do some fancy shooting to stay alive. There is even one form of asteroid that will shoot back at you! This is the "Ancient Energy Asteroid," which will absorb your laser's energy and send it right back at you in a powerful way.

Also floating through space are 13 different Wildcard weapons which you can use to your advantage. Many of them are quite effective in keeping you alive, yet will also require a fair amount of practice before you'll become accustomed to them. Once you learn how to use the arsenal that is at your disposal, you'll soon be on your way. This game has added so much more to the original game, including 12 different enemy spaceships. Each one of them has its own individual character, which adds even more depth to the game. There are also fireball comets and space debris to look out for, so you'd better stay on your toes. Some of the smaller asteroids are difficult to see at times, and will sometimes hit you from behind if you're not careful.

This version of Asteroids gives you the choice of piloting three different ships. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it's up to you to choose the one that will best suit your needs and abilities. Some are more maneuverable than others, at the expense of firepower and shield duration.

In addition to the original game's controls of left, right, thrust, fire and hyperspace, this version adds a shield, the wildcard weapon, and a flip button that will instantly turn your ship 180 degrees. This comes in handy when an enemy or asteroid comes at you from behind, and allows you to turn and zap it right away. One nice option on this game is your ability to customize the controller, putting the controls in a comfortable position, which helps you play your best. I would recommend the use of a memory card for this game, which will save your controller preferences for you.

I would also recommend purchasing the analog dual-shock controllers for this game. It is much easier to control the left and right movements of your spaceship with the analog joystick than to use the digital keypad, and really cuts down on fatigue. The dual shock feature also adds a bit of realism to the game, and vibrates as you apply thrust, change direction or get hit. The sound effects are also quite good in the new version of Asteroids, and there is even a narrated outline of each zone, which lets you know what you'll be up against in advance. One other thing I noticed that was different from the original Asteroids game is that you can't cruise through the screens and simply blast alien spaceships. I tried it a few times, and I ended up just flying along with the asteroid and no alien spaceships came out after me. I could be wrong, but the few times I tried it proved unsuccessful.

One of the coolest aspects of the game is the fact that two people can play at once, without having to split the screen. The old version of Asteroids made the players alternate play, forcing one player to sit and watch until the other player lost his ship.


I thought Activision did a very good job on the graphics in this game. Each zone has its own look, which is quite detailed and interesting. The enemy spaceships are also well done. They have their own individual looks, and are in color. The asteroids really look three-dimensional as they rotate and move across the screen, and the six different types really add a lot of variety. The background is nicely detailed as well, with stars and various colors.

Classic Asteroids

I was also pleased with Activision's revival of the classic arcade version of Asteroids in this game, and found myself playing it quite a bit as well. They did a good job of replicating the overall gameplay, but there were a few things I was disappointed with. One was the sound effects. The thrust and fire sounds are different from the original game, and I find it odd that they wouldn't make them sound the same. The graphics and gameplay are also good, but for some reason the display of your score is not too clear. I know that it must not be too easy to duplicate an arcade version of a game onto a system that uses a television screen with less resolution, but I think they could have spent a little more time making it as close to the original as possible. Also, I couldn't imagine why they didn't include the use of the analog joystick option on the dual-shock controller like they did in the new version. Despite the things I didn't like about their classic version, it is still a good enough duplication that most people wouldn't even notice the differences unless they've played the original game as much as I have … it's still a great game, and I'll give them credit for a job well done copying it from the arcade version.

Bottom Line

This new version of Asteroids is one game that you won't master overnight. It doesn't take long to get used to the controls, but there is so much variety to this version that it will take you some time to get through all the zones. Getting through the first few should have you hooked. This is what makes it such a good game. It is challenging and fun, with excellent gameplay and multiple levels that will keep your attention for quite a while, especially if you're a veteran of the classic version. If you've never played Asteroids before, this is the best version to buy, and just might rekindle the Asteroids craze all over again.

It looks as if we're finally going to get an update of a classic arcade game that does its predecessor justice. Asteroids, developed by Syrox Development for Activision, feels exactly the same as the old game except with new graphics and other innovative gameplay additions. First, the graphics are the feature most improved upon...thankfully, since vectors just don't cut it these days. Backgrounds are vibrant and filled with moving elements, and asteroids are actual polygons instead of chunky vectors. In fact, now all of the graphics in the game are completely polygonal, with texture-maps and the whole nine. In addition, explosions, special weapons and environmental hazards are huge and feature fancy lighting and/or particle effects. On the gameplay side, new elements such as power-ups, "mission objectives" and Bosses have been added. Some power-ups are standard, such as lasers and bigger thrusters, whereas others are much more powerful and have the graphic effects to go with them. There are different types of asteroids to blow up, too--some of which react differently if not destroyed in a timely fashion or if you're too close to them--and several different types of ships to control.

Nice-looking rendered cinemas break up the action and give a glimpse of what's to come in the next zone. Also before each of the zones, a mission briefing tells you what needs to be done to warp to the next level, and what to look out for while clearing asteroids, debris and little spermy alien things. Keep in mind, whatever objectives may be presented, they basically consist of avoiding something and then blowing that same something to kingdom come. Also look for a Two-player Mode where players compete for points, and a variety of bonus levels which have not yet been implemented.

  • THEME - Shooter

Rock 'n roll with rolling rocks in this update of Atari's classic space shooter. Once again, you pilot a spaceship stranded in a field of asteroids, and the only way to survive is by blasting the rocks to bits--which only increases the danger. But this is not your father's Asteroids by any means; the challenge has been upped with impressive 3D graphics, new space hazards, and more gameplay options than just sit-and-spin. Rock on!

People say:


The PlayStation version of Asteroids is basically the original game, with a couple of new features and snazzy graphics. Other than the slightly repetitive gameplay and an unfortunately lame two-player mode, Asteroids is a blast. It provides the simple but surprisingly addictive feel of the arcade classic, while updating the visuals by leaps and bounds. Though honestly, vector graphics compared to pretty much any other graphical style is a major improvement. The addition of power-ups--some of which look incredible when unleashed--and all of the various kinds of asteroids and debris also add a lot to this title's longevity. But like I said, blowing up asteroid after asteroid can get a little repetitious after awhile. Luckily, all of the fancy effects and nice-looking backgrounds in this update add a great deal to the mostly average arcade Asteroids experience (which is what this 3D version ultimately boils down to). I would have liked the control to be a bit more intuitive but it's not horrible--chances are you'll get used to it. Also, the cinemas and "story" are a nice touch, but they aren't particularly necessary since this game basically revolves around blowing stuff up. But thankfully, the various enhancements, both in the gameplay and graphics departments, allow me to do it in style.


Asteroids delivers pretty much everything I'd want from an update to the classic coin-op. It packs cool power-ups, excellent visuals, a good variety of Voids to blast--all while maintaining the tension of the original. The themed levels and interactive backgrounds keep things from getting too monotonous, although--true to its nature--Asteroids is a repetitive game. You'll wanna fire this sucker up, blast rocks and zone out.


As a "yout," Asteroids was by far my favorite arcade game. This fancy 3D incarnation does a good job of capturing the same general feel of the original while offering a nice new look and tons of new variables. The question is: Is it deep enough to warrant the $49.99 price tag? Basically, it's a good update with decent gameplay but it's still an old-school idea recycled for the '90s. If it were $20, I'd buy it. But since it's not. rent first.


Dear Activision, Thank you very much for not making this a fully 3D, open space game. Thank you for sprucing it up with snazzy graphics and polygons, while keeping the gameplay in two dimensions. Thank you for including the original Asteroids. Thank you for keeping the classic Asteroids formula intact. Thank you for not screwing up this game like you did Pitfall. Thank you for an awesome, addicting shooter.

The enagers weaned on Astcioids probably already dealing with hemorrhoids nevertheless. Activision has spiffed up the classic and brought it back for one more assault on your virtual behind. Can the retro gameplay compete with todays high-tech delights? Nope. And it shouldn't have to.

Lets face it: If you aren't a retro gamer, you have no place on this chunk of floating space-rock. The 1998 version of your fathers video game just dresses up the familiar formula: Polygonal asteroids and cool lighting effects replace the old vector graphics, while stereophonic explosions now complement those high-pitched ferret-fart laser sounds. Plus, die hyperspace and thrust offer pinpoint analog response and rumbling feedback.

Asteroids also offers five semi-interactive environments, each of which advances through 15 levels of difficulty. There are some icky alien menaces and a cool level where you have to save Earth, but, ultimately, like the name, the game is still the same.


  • Go after bonus items only if the screen is nearly empty. Watch out for lingering crystal asteroids-they'll regenerate and cause more trouble.
  • As in classic Asteroids, you'll want to stay still and in the center of the screea Use flip and thrust in tandem to stop yourself.

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