RZA To Create Atari Themed Album

Posted on June 29, 2016


Atari just announced a co-production agreement with original Wu-Tang Clan producer/rapper RZA, to make an album based on sounds and music from their classic games.

While we don’t expect it to be the same sort of genius as the 1982 LP, “Asteroids,” we DO expect it to be a whole other level of genius.

“I’m so excited to work on these iconic games to deliver what I believe will be one of my best albums,” said RZA. “I am going to invite some of my friends to join me and it will be Game On with the first beat!”

The original video game giant Atari has had its share of trouble finding its way around the game industry these days, but this is unquestionably a Good Idea.

Read the official Atari press release here.

VEC9: New Vector Arcade Game

Posted on April 29, 2016

A few years ago, Andrew Reitano and Todd Bailey started tinkering with an old Asteroids vector monitor. One thing led to the next, and along with Michael Dooley and an absurd level of know-how, they built a new vector arcade game: VEC 9.

This is quite likely the first new vector arcade game created in 30 years… and it looks magnificent.

Check out our old post about their early work on the project.

Or better yet, visit vec9.com, or Todd or Andrew’s blogs.

VEC9 will be at IndieCadeEast in New York City this weekend (April 29-31, 2016).

Thrust Vector Gets Our Thumbs Up

Posted on April 29, 2016

TVlogoWe’re all about one game here at AtariAsteroids.net, and one game only.

The sequels and clones all stray from perfection, because with Asteroids, the more you add, the more you lose. It’s not about being flashy and destroying asteroids… it’s about something that’s supremely simple in design, yet complex in performance.

Michael Lazer-Walker’s Thrust Vector for iOS actually isn’t an Asteroids clone, aside from the fact that you’re a triangle navigating asteroids, and it has the words “thrust” and “vector” in the title. But it gets our hearty approval because it only has one button (which beats Asteroids by four), is super simple to understand, but is surprisingly hard to master.

TVscreen322x572It’s an infinite runner game, so you’re constantly scrolling forward, with asteroids in your path. A line sweeps back and forth from the ship, and touching the screen thrusts you forward along that vector. You try not to crash into the asteroids.

And like Atari Asteroids, you don’t play to win… you play to survive.

What’s more, it turns out that Lazer-Walker has some other excellent creations, including another one-button game where you’re a telegraph operator (makes me think of the classic leaf-switch button on an Asteroids machine), and Hello, Operator!, which uses a vintage telephone switchboard. This doesn’t really have much to do with Asteroids, but it’s cool.

Check out Thrust Vector at the Apple App Store, and Michael Lazer-Walker’s website.

Art of Atari Book: Coming This Fall

Posted on April 11, 2016

This fall, Dynamite Entertainment will release The Art of Atari, co-written by Robert V. Conte and Tim Lapetino. The book looks at the history of Atari through its artwork, including profiles and interviews with key figures. Read more at The Nerdist.



Asteroid Flyby on Halloween Night

Posted on October 26, 2015


So here’s the scenario: you’re out trick-or-treating on Halloween night, and there’s the usual assortment of pirates, zombies, and Boba Fetts. When all of a sudden, you round a corner and come face to face with Asteroid TB145!!! Sure, it’s passing 1.3 lunar distances from Earth, but it still wants candy and is close enough to TP your house if it doesn’t get any.

For more deets, visit NASA JPL.


Asteroids: Outpost, Response is Meh

Posted on October 26, 2015

sadAsteroidIt turns out that Asteroids: Outpost hasn’t done so well.

Atari CEO Fred Chesnais told mcvuk.com, “With Asteroids: Outpost, the idea was to start with a solo experience and keep adding to it. The fans did not respond to that… We do care about these brands, we are really trying to pay attention to what the community is saying and to do our best. You are only as good as your last game. That’s the problem and also the beauty of our industry. We don’t do it on purpose.”

We’re sorry to see another attempted reboot fizzle, but we have seven words on the matter: rotate left, rotate right, thrust, fire, hyperspace. You can’t beat that.

Asteroids: Outpost Video

Posted on April 04, 2015

Asteroids: Outpost has debuted through Early Access on Steam, as an online multiplayer game for PC. That means you can play it now, with the caveat that it may change before the official release.

Here’s some video. First, a sexy teaser trailer.

And here’s a gameplay demo from Starsnipe, recorded right when the game became available.

Atari Announces New Game: Asteroids Outpost

Posted on February 19, 2015


Atari has unveiled the Asteroids reboot that CEO Fred Chesnais and Senior Product Lead Peter Banks first mentioned last year, Asteroids: Outpost.

Instead of being an arcade-style shooter like the original, it’s a sandbox survival game with online gameplay, where you explore an open world and build up what you need to get by.

The tagline is “Welcome to the new Gold Rush.”

With the earth’s mines nearly spent, industrialists rely on the wealth of the heavens. Our solar system’s massive Asteroid Belt is a mother lode of resources… “The Belt” is the humanity’s newest frontier, as wild and untamed as any that man has faced.

Ambitious prospectors blast off with little more than an Outpost Module and a Mining Tool, to tear the hide off these asteroids and find their fortunes.


Stephen Kleckner spoke with Atari’s Peter Banks for GameBeat. Banks says:

“Asteroids has a long and storied history… With the legacy of official versions and clones out in the world, you could almost call Asteroids a genre unto itself.

“That said, our goal with Asteroids: Outpost is really to expand the world of Asteroids beyond a single gameplay mechanic and explore the wider context of the game.

“The game is set on a massive asteroid, in our solar system’s asteroid belt, and part of the game is defending yourself and your base against deadly asteroid showers… Tied to this, a core gameplay mechanic is the construction and control of anti-asteroid defense systems to protect your outpost. This mechanic evokes classic gameplay without specifically reproducing it and fits comfortably within the larger context of the overall gameplay.”

Maybe Asteroids: Outpost will have a vector-based stick-figure mode?


It is being developed for the PC platform only, by Salty Games, and will be distributed through Steam. They’ll make it available for Early Access, meaning players can give feedback during development. Right now, there’s a splash page on the game’s website, as well as a Facebook page and Twitter account. The Steam page for Asteroids: Outpost is here. More news coming soon.

Read the full Peter Banks interview at GamesBeat, here.


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Universal’s Asteroids Movie Gets Rewrite

Posted on February 06, 2015

We were JUST wondering what’s up with Hollywood’s Asteroids movie, like two days ago.

It’s been five and a half years since Universal Studios acquired the film rights to the game, and over two years since the last official word, when Jez Butterworth replaced Evan Spiliotopoulos, who replaced Matt Lopez, as writer.

Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that a NEW new new writer, F. Scott Frazier, has been brought on for rewrites.

It’s like the game. They keep working away at the script, hammering out plot points, building scenes, giving and addressing notes, until all the big problems are made into smaller problems, and eventually they’re left with a completed script, like the blank screen after shooting all the asteroids. And then, boom, the screen is filled with even more asteroids and they have to start all over again.

The producers must have passed 10,000 points to earn that fourth writer.

Read past news about the movie here.

Another Asteroid Buzzes Earth

Posted on January 24, 2015


On January 26, 2015, asteroid 2004 BL86 will pass 3 lunar distances from Earth — not nearly as harrowing as when 2005 YU55 zipped past in 2011, but still close enough to excite scientists, who will study the asteroid with microwaves.

microwaveThe asteroid should be close enough to Earth for amateur astronomers to see it with small telescopes and large binoculars, and for professional astronomers to reheat leftovers on the asteroid surface.

Download an animation of the flyby, and read more about it at NASA JPL’s website.

Check out other real asteroid news on AtariAsteroids.net.