Amazingly, this new 3D version of Asteroids requires only 70Mb of hard disk space. That's nothing compared to most new releases, of course. However, compare that with the original coin-op (which had the memory of a goldfish and boasted monochrome vector graphics) and you can see that while the gameplay remains largely unchanged, the system requirements have gone into orbit.
What's so endearing about Asteroids is that it's probably the only game that hasn't been cloned to death. Mario 64 is basically Pac-Man, and Quake is just another version of Gauntlet. Name a descendant of Asteroids? Go on, you can't, can you? (Thrust? Super Stardust? - Ed) Anyway, the point is this: rather than go all 'Battlezone' on us and change the original gameplay completely, Activision offer yet another version of the arcade classic. Instead of one ship, you have four to choose from; instead of one weapon there are 14; and instead of one colour there are, er, loads.
Even with the fancy graphics, new enemies and power-ups, there's nothing fundamentally new to the game. There are certainly more innovative versions of Asteroids freely available on the Net, although none are as attractive as this. To be honest, though, even though it does look pretty, the explosions do cloud the gameplay and the way the asteroids suddenly 'flip' from one side of the screen to the other is a massive annoyance. But if you want an easy life and are prepared to shell out 30 on a 20-year-old game, then here ya go.
There is one thing that is sadly missing, however: the fondly remembered heart-pumping sound that speeded up as the game went on. It's in the 'hidden' original version, but not in the main game. Strange, that.
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
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2018-12-14 Asteroids game added.
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