Play this classic 80's game online for free!
Instructions: If using a PC then move your mouse pointer over the game and/or press "S" to get started. Use your arrow keys to steer your spacecraft. The up arrow will boost your thrusters and, therefore, your speed. The down arrow slows you down. Hitting the "Z" key launches a missile. Press the spacebar to hyperspace.
Object: Simply destroy the rocks and avoid colliding into them. Each time one of your missiles hits a rock it will break into smaller fragments, so you'll need to avoid these. When your spaceship reaches the edge of the screen it will appear at the opposite end - so be warned! Hint: Avoid using too much thrust.
The History of Asteroids
Asteroids is best described as a 1970s, multi-directional shooter featuring vector graphics. I certainly remember playing the arcade game at a motorway service station and also at the local Youth Club after school, but I never really managed to get to grips with the thrust controls - my spaceship would quickly find itself crashing into a rock fragment!
This influential game is now considered a true 80s video game classic and was originally developed and published by Atari. The game first appeared in the arcades in November 1979 and quickly became highly popular.
The game was heavily influenced by two earlier video games, Space War and Computer Space. Space War was one of the earliest computer games which was developed in 1962 for the Digital Equipment Corporaton (DEC) PDP-1 computer. Computer Space was the first commercial arcade video game which was released in 1971 around a year before Atari's Pong. It was created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. If you think you've heard those names before it's because they were the founders of Atari Inc.
Asteroids itself has influenced many other games and also has three official sequels which were also developed by Atari; Asteroids Deluxe (1981), Space Duel (1982) and Blasteroids (1987).
If you think you're an Asteroids expert then you may like to know that the world record score is 41,336, 400 points which was set by Scott Safran on November 13th 1982 when he was just 15 years old. Sadly, Scott died in an accident in 1989, but his record remains intact.
Asteroids game cartridge - Atari 2600
Asteroids arcade game promotional poster by Atari
QS Asteroids by Quicksilva for the ZX81 on cassette (1982)
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