Company: Atari
Model #:
Greg Munster, Doug Macrae, Mike Horowitz, Josh Littlefield, Ethan Jacobs (GCC)
Year: 1984
Originally called 3-D Asteroids


Since its release in 1979, Asteroids has been a staple of the Atari library.  Released for just about every Atari system (except for the 5200 and Jaguar), the 7800 version of Asteroids is considered to be the best of best.  Asteroids was so popular in fact, that Atari decided to build it into the PAL version of the 7800 (if no game is inserted Asteroids will play).  Asteroids can be added to an NTSC 7800 with a simple BIOS rom swap.


The original name of 7800 Asteroids was 3-D Asteroids. This is because the asteroids are depicted as three dimensional rocks rather than flat blobs (ala 2600 and 400/800 Asteroids).  Unfortunately the 7800 only has two joystick ports, so the three and four player modes found in the 400/800 version had to be dropped (as was the Team mode).  However the 7800 does support co-op and competition modes, which help round out an already nice package.


Although the updated graphics are nice, the new 3-D asteroids tend to look like rotating planets rather than asteroids.  This is due to the fact that all the asteroids are perfectly round rather than jagged and oblong like they were in the 2600 and 400/800.  This is mostly likely due to the limits of the 7800 graphics engine, but one has to wonder if the programmers couldn't have made them a little more 'asteroid' shaped.  On the plus side, the saucers also received a long overdue 3-D update.


Other than the graphical overhaul, 7800 Asteroids really didn't changed much from the 400/800 version.  Why Atari decided to go with regular Asteroids rather than porting the far superior Asteroids Deluxe is unknown, but by 1984 Asteroids was getting old and showing its age badly.  People were tiring of the same old arcade ports, and were looking for bigger and better games.  Still, if you're a fan of rock busting action you can't go wrong with Asteroids.  Just don't expect to blown away by the gameplay (unless you're the saucer that is).

Prototype Box Artwork


Version Cart Text Description
?/??/84 3D Asteroids Rev A Unencrypted final release


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