Posted tagged ‘Asteroids’

Asteroids High Score World record broken

April 6, 2010

While we don’t report about every single world record that is broken on here, occasionally there are ones which are broken which are just too impressive to pass by. I heard about this on the KLOV forums and then saw that they had a live stream of the event on John McAllister broke the record last night at 10:18PM with 41,338,740 points – he had to start on Friday morning to achieve this which meant playing the game for three days straight, no pause button allowed (or possible). Congrats to John for smashing the previous record, which had been held by Scott Safran who set his record 28 years ago in 1982, which also required three days of playing to set. I doubt anyone will be able to topple John’s score anytime soon but that probably won’t stop others from trying. In the meantime, congrats to John for the achievement!

The event was viewable on Two other world record attempts occured at the same time but it looks like only John made it. The achievement is also bringing out some nice coverage across the internet, as you can see here. (Image above via

One question I would like to ask is how possible do you think it is for a modern arcade to hold this sort of appeal of competing for a high score on it almost 30 years down the road? Obviously that is quite difficult to achieve once again – Asteroids has the classic popularity going for it and you don’t see them making many games anymore that just go on for eternity (or until the game breaks). It almost makes me wish that current arcades would at least offer an option to just loop over to the beginning so one could at least attempt it – I understand why games have endings, so that incredible players like this can’t hog a machine on one credit for eternity but if it were an option that the operator could set, it makes it possible for better high score competitions. What do you guys think?

Panel discussion with ex-Atari alumni at California Extreme 09

December 8, 2009

One thing I don’t think that I will ever tire of is getting into the history of the game industry, particularly that involving the arcade side of things. On one side I think it’s fascinating and on the other there are always some helpful ideas you can learn from what people have tried in the past. Obviously as times change not everything that worked “back in the good ol’ days” will work anymore but there are some things in human tastes that never change.

To get on with with the point, here is video of a panel discussion with several ex-employees of Atari back when it was a giant in the arcade industry, including Al Alcorn, Mike Hally, Owen Rubin, Steve Bristow and Steve Ritchie. Each one of these guys made contributions to gaming that were important not just for arcades but for gaming as a whole. Some of the talk is serious, some is light-hearted, they cover a number of the classic games they worked on and even quite a bit of discussion on Atari pinball machines.  You’ll just have to check them all out below

Gravitar testing, pinball talk

Vector monitors/game talk(speaking of that, my Asteroids Deluxe monitor recently went kaput), exergaming, cabinet make-up,

Failed prototype talk, cabinet designs, Namco licensing,

Copy protection, best selling game, worst business decision, Video Music, Picking innovations, The Last Starfighter

The Last Starfighter cont., Tank 8, the future of arcades, “hot tub stories”

Time to cringe, Asteroids to be made into a feature film

July 2, 2009


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When Hollywood studios set their sights on adapting a video game into a film, you sadly have to worry about how badly the game will be butchered on screen. Hollywood has a terrible track record when it comes to these projects, although adapting films into games doesn’t fare any better. On occasion when they do want to adapt a game into a film, you really have to question what it is they are smoking there at the game studios because it makes little sense as to why they want to take the project on. First was Joust, which was announced ages ago but I haven’t heard anything on that project since and now, they want to make the classic Atari arcade game Asteroids into a movie.

(take a moment to scratch your head in confusion)

I don’t get it either – I love Asteroids as much as the next guy and I even have the game sitting at my arcade but I still don’t understand where this movie idea came from. They must be looking at what made truck-loads of money back in the day and tying it to the nostalgia that people still have for classic arcade games to come up with this idea. It’s no secret that Asteroids has made tons and tons of money over the years for Atari and it is certainly one of their best recognized and best selling games they have had in their arsenal but to have expected to see a movie come out of it was not expected. Strangely enough, it appears that four movie studios were bidding on this, with Universal Studios coming out on top. I do wonder if they will hearken back to the Atari 2600 Asteroids manual for an idea on the storyline, not that there is much there to work with.

[Via] [Discuss on the Forums]

Ed Logg recounts how Asteroids was made

June 3, 2009



A lot of classic games made their mark on our culture back in the 80’s but of those, Asteroids is certainly one of the top contenders for it’s reach and influence in gaming. I do not know how many arcades out there may still have one on location, but speaking for myself I have an Asteroids Deluxe at my place that gets played just about every day by the old and young alike. Asteroids was programmed by Ed Logg and EDGE Magazine has caught up with Ed to get his insight into how the game came about. There is some interesting information you can find in the article, including some concepts in what makes a great arcade game that I think are still applicable today, despite the gigantic leaps in technology that we have experienced since Asteroids came out. Hit the link below for the interview

[EDGE Magazine – The Making of: Asteroids] [Discuss on the Forums]

Asteroids Watch

December 18, 2008


From the genius that brought you the Pong watch comes this rather cool asteroids time piece. Video after the break.

Please note; game is not playable…… DAMN!

[via Oh Gizmo]    [Discuss on the Forum]


25 years and still standing – the Asteroids High Score

November 14, 2008

atari2I’m sorry I missed this one yesterday but being a day late doesn’t hurt. Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of Scott Safran setting the still unbroken high score record on Atari’s Asteroids, setting the bar at the jaw dropping 41,336,440 points (it should be noted that Twin Galaxies lists the date as 1982 so I am not sure if that is a typo or not). How long did it take to hit that record? Three days, two nights. No pause button to hold the game, no comfy couch to get lazy on and I don’t know how he handled eating and the bathroom but if anyone deserves to be considered a video game champion, it would have to be Scott.

Of course there are other records much like that from early 80’s arcade games where it took a couple of days to set the high score. One I know of off the top of my head is Atari’s Star Wars where Robert Mruczek came in with an astounding 300,007,894 which also stands up today (that high score will hit 25 years unbroken on 1/22/2009 so get cracking if you think you have a chance). Of course you don’t really see this sort of thing in any game today, arcade, console or PC since everything “has” to have an ending.Maybe if a few games decided to be bold and drop the whole ending component in favor of the never-ending one found in many classic games we could see a few more very interesting games/ideas come around

[Via Kotaku via Wired] [Discuss on the Forums]

The horror: Asteroids meets the shredder

June 11, 2008

No not THE Shredder, villainous foe of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but an actual industrial shredder that is good at well, shredding things. Unfortunately this is not the first time I have seen an Asteroids shredded on video, I had seen one meet it’s doom in this way a few years ago and for any classic game enthusiast it can be a painful thing to watch – those vector monitors are becoming harder to find with each passing day and no one makes them anymore from what I understand (compared to a raster monitor they aren’t complicated).

If you’re a classic game enthusiast with a particular love for Asteroids or you just hate seeing people waste arcade cabinets then you’ll probably want to avert your eyes here and move along. At the very least Asteroids is just one of many, many things these guys shred for entertainment although I don’t think Asteroids NEEDS shredding…Mutant Fighter maybe or some other terrible game.

[Discuss on the Forum]

The Asteroids Lamp

April 26, 2008

Even though Atari never created many memorable characters they created plenty of icons and symbols that people easily recognize. One of those would be the rocks from Asteroids, which have been brought to the 3D world as a unique lamp. According to the website:

An angular plastic encased light, the Asteroid is a unique floor, or table light, designed with 24 facets — each with its own unique geometry. The lamp can be placed on several of the facets, to display as an individual, unique piece, as you like.

If they weren’t listed for only $176 I’d probably pick one up. That and if they were in stock. Either way it’s a unique lamp and would make a cool prop for an arcade or game room. Asteroids lamps by Innermost Ltd.

[Via Retro To Go] [Discuss on the Forum]

Asteroids blasting its way to XBLA Wednesday

November 27, 2007


(click to enlarge)

We don’t mention arcade remakes coming to XBLA that often but I felt that this one is worth mentioning as it’s Asteroids. That’s right, Atari mighty classic makes it way to XBox Live Arcade this Wednesday, both the original and Asteroids Deluxe (which was an excellent game that gave the idea a greater challenge). The originals and the ‘evolved’ versions of the game will be available for a mere 400 points and if it is like the revamped version of Centipede then it should be good. Even if it wasn’t, the original versions of the game are worth it for that price even though they aren’t running on a vector set.

It would be nice to get a collection of these enhanced titles out into arcades as official releases. I think they would be appreciated even more running in a cabinet with authentic controls and an HD monitor to impress. I’d buy that over any of those ‘multi-cade’ MAME cabinets like Ultracade any day.

[Asteroids Landing on XBLA this week – Kotaku] [Discuss on the Forum]