It was actually tricky to find and get the embed code for this game to copy onto the website; perhaps creating my own page page will make it easier for anyone else.
It was worth it though, there are a few versions for the Atari game of asteroids, not least one on the main Atari site which is meant to be a more recent version.
What I was looking for though was as close to the original as I could get – I wanted to share my experience of the game more than anything.
The closest I can get to sharing the edginess of playing 8 bit system, with no game save function is to show you a video of it:
I remember having to stand to play this game or having to drag a piece of furniture to the middle of the room, which my Mom was more reluctant to do than she was to let us play. She enjoyed playing this game a lot and she was pretty bloody good at it too.
It’s a really hard game, there are no save points and even if you are skilled enough to acquire enough lives as you progress your game is well… limited shall we say?
Because if you can’t pause and you can’t save, the only thing you can do is continue with the game, give up, or hand over he controller to someone who is as skilled at the game and as hyped up on your progress as you are.
Most people know what the traditional Atari Joystick used to look like – That’s because with modern tech they have basically been able to create an entire console and loads of the 8-bit games included, into a joystick which is plug and play to most TVs.
– Ours was a grey metal box, with a little rubber gasket, metal stick and little black plastic button. If memory recall is correct for me, at one point there may have been a small section where the outer insulation had a gap that showed the colour of the insulation on the inner wires.
The closest I can get to showing a picture of what this might have looked like, is this image which shows a similar setup, but with 2 joystick controllers:
The controller did get passed mid-game quite frequently and it got pretty hot, it was a metal cased electrical peripheral, wasn’t it.
My son, when he gets to the age of playing computer games will never know that getting a top score and almost pissing oneself was pretty much 2 sides of the same coin, every time.
:: I almost forgot to mention the frustration when the little pink triangle ship starts to drift off uncontrollably across the screen (This is shown happening in the video above, too. ::
I am 35, for the record – one of the reasons for me thinking back on this though, is this video, which is either about making young people feel really young, or people in their ‘early-to-mid-thirties-like-me’ feel really. really old:
‘Crash Bandicoot is Retro Gaming’ – Is it bollocks!?!