Updates of coin-ops are nothing new, the only real surprise is that Atari took so long to give Asteroids a new coat of paint after the success of Arkanoid.
Released last year, Blasteroids offered the player a chunky, dedicated cabinet, planet backgrounds, a choice of ships to control rather than a floating Dairy
It diverted arcadesters briefly before heading off to that great PCB board in the sky where all the other old coin ops go. A game these days has to be pretty good to last more than six months.
That the game wasn't a phenomenal success shouldn't matter. It didn't hurt Combat School any. What really matters is the quality of the conversion, and this is where French development house Teque have delivered. Blasteroids plays remarkably like its arcadepart.
The idea, simply, is to pilot your craft through the many sectors and galaxies, ridding space of clusters of asteroids and enemy ships, until you come intro confrontation with Mukor, a big, snotty blob who runs the show.
To this end you fly a ship which transforms into three kinds of craft: a nippy Gti type, a medium size fighter with heavy fire
Make sure you top up your energy. Run out and your ship explodes. Energy is obtained by splintering down the red asteroids into useful crystals.
Other attributes can also be collected by destroying the enemy. There's shields, blasters (which give you double shots), ripstar (this makes your ship spin furiously and spit out huge amounts of shots), extra fuel capacity, a cloaking device, and a crystal magnet to draw crystals to you. What more do you need?
Visually Blasteroids is nearly identical to the arcade machine, and that's as it should be, the game set no great standards here, but it's the gameplay Teque have most successfully managed to encapsulate.
There are some minus points. The way you transform the ship by pulling back makes it all too easy to do by mistake, and this can be pretty irritating. Sound too, whilst sampling its arcade parent, omits Mukor's contemptuous 'Human slime is weak!' remark at the end of level. That made the coin-op for me.
Otherwise no complaints. Asteroids never really did a great deal for me, and Blasteroids only did a little to change that. Devotees of the machine won't feel so detached.