Space Rox Beta Zip – v 0.1 – release date Friday 22nd November 2019
- No adware, malware, spyware.
- Not networked – fully private.
- No Ads, or any junk or bad stuff at all.
- Just download, unzip and install.
- File is clean of viruses etc, but run sweep it before install for your own peace of mind, as you would with anything else.
- All graphics are hand drawn; all sounds are hand-made too.
- No donation, attention, or thanks required. Enjoy.
Background to Asteroids
Asteroids is the classic arcade game, released by Atari in 1979. Atari’s earlier Lunar Lander game, simulated the controlled burn and descent of the moon-landing and put the firm on the map. Asteroids in contrast was huge leap forward with better controls, shooting, and the constant danger of asteroids flying from every direction threatening destruction.
It took the world by storm, becoming iconic and one of the best selling arcade games of all time. It’s port onto a classic for the Atari 2600, ensured the Atari console was sold into millions of homes worldwide. Asteroids was vital for the birth of the gaming world as it is today and set the stage for the technological leaps necessary to reach today’s level of computing..
Asteroids, much like Lunar Lander, was created using Vector graphics – the same technology used in oscilloscopes, where electrons are fired directly at the screen to draw the images like a pencil. This is both awesome and shows just how old the game is – it predates the TV era. In fact every video game and TV screen since used a ‘printer’ approach, with horizontal scan lines to progressively build up a picture. Less cool, but it scaled and is what you’re reading this article on now, in all likelihood.
Asteroids was, and is, beautifully simple: pilot your ship through a field of asteroids, destroying them with your laser while avoiding collision.
As a description it falls short – the gameplay is so good and unlike anything else it was the first incredibly addictive game. Players pouring quarters and hours into arcade machines to improve on their high scores as well as beat those of other players. At the time the local arcade machine told you which of your friends from your neighbourhoods was the best – and it naturally became the first game where it was real news if someone new took the #1 High Score slot.
I was born tale end of the ’70s and was a toddler in the early ’80s, so I was just a shade too late to be part of that scene. I do remember vividly people talking about it, and others, and it was one of the things which made me really notice computing, games, and the real meaning they could add to people’s lives.
Asteroids is a fantastic memory, and for many of us the first joyful introduction to video games.