It’s hard to believe that there was a video gaming scene before Space Invaders and Asteroids ignited the arcades, but there’s a very clear line between before and after. Beforehand arcades were an interesting new development, and after it was a cultural movement that eventually became… all this. While Space Invaders came first, the spread of arcades throughout the US took a while and by the time they were everywhere Asteroids had come along and was every bit as prominent, sitting right near the front door to lure in all the quarters. The entire game was dealing with three asteroid sizes and two types of flying saucers, but when stray shots turned the single-screen playfield into a mass of tiny little rocks flying about at random that was more than enough to deal with. Asteroids is one of the most iconic games in the history of the arcade, so no pressure on making a new entry in the form of Asteroids: Recharged.
The Recharged series has been going strong this fall, starting with Centipede and following through with Black Widow, and now it’s almost time for Asteroids to make its return. Like the other games in the series it will be divided up between two modes- a single-life endless arcade high-score run and a series of challenges with varying objectives. There’s been a huge amount of excellent work done with the Asteroids formula over the years so Asteroids: Recharged has a lot to live up to, but with the release date a couple weeks off on December 14 it won’t be too long before the newest version shows what it can do.