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Asteroids Deluxe

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Released: 1980

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Arcade

Publisher: Atari

Developer: Atari

Submitted by: Ian Marks

Asteroids was a great arcade game, it was a genre defining moment in the history of the arcades. For Atari it posed a simple problem, what game shall to release next. The answer was obvious, Asteroids Deluxe, like Asteroids only deluxe, obviously.

That’s not to say that this wasn’t a good thing. In my opinion it most certainly was, because whilst Asteroids was great, Asteroids Deluxe is a much better game. Let me tell you why I think that… then you can disagree and write rude comments below (I don’t mind, I’m trying to get my comments total up any way I can).

For a start it looks better, with brighter, sharper and bluer vector graphics. This means that it really stands out, particularly on some models where there was a 3D effect with a space painting behind the screen. The game also seemed smoother graphics wise, although this may just have a been a trick of the mind.

More importantly the game removed the strangely random (albeit enjoyable) hyperspace feature with a shield button, that had limited time span. This added a new and clever dimension to the game, meaning you could actually save yourself reliably at intense moments, rather than just hyperspacing into even greater danger on the original. Deluxe also added ships that split in two when shot, adding even more peril for the player.

One thing it kept from the original was the sheer cliff that was the difficulty curve. You might have though Asteroids was hard, well Asteroids Deluxe was just as hard. Myself I spent many a 10p not getting much past the second level and swearing profusely. This didn’t stop me putting more money in though, if Asteroids Deluxe was anything it was addictive.

Every so often I still try to play this game on my iPhone and recreate old memories whilst on the bus. Sadly the memories don’t come flooding back, not because Asteroids Deluxe isn’t still brilliant – it is – but because the controls of the iPhone version are shonky beyond belief. Shame on you Atari, spin and thrust on the same finger=madness.