Buttonmashing with Butterfield

Asteroid by Atari

by Atari

To be fair, spoof issue is a weird name for anything

by Ethan Butterfield – Contributor

Hey, everyone! Let me start off by saying that it’s been one heck of a semester; finals are coming up, and the pressure is on. And instead of studying, I’ve been blissfully ignoring any and all school work and doing what I do best – gaming. This week I’ve found a game that is honestly one of the coolest out there, Asteroid! I don’t know if anyone out there knows about this one, but let me tell you, you’re definitely missing out.

A well-designed, innovative and sleek-looking game, Asteroid is limitless in its potential. You take control of a space shuttle (or triangle rather) and maneuver around the surrounding area as you try to survive wave after wave of flying rocks called “asteroids.” Due to my completely exaggerated and non-existent skills as a pilot, I decided to christen my ship the S.S. Dented Hull. A bit of an odd choice, sure, but I felt it accurate when my cruiser decided to go head-to-head with cosmic floating debris.

The game also uses colours very well; by only using black and white it saves on art design and pours more detail into its gameplay and character creation. That is, if there was a character, but it’s okay because by having a lack of any and all characters, the game lets you craft your own story. I choose to believe that I was Captain Nimrod, out exploring the cosmos and choosing to accept that the only way I could get to my next destination was by flying dangerously close to large chunks of space dirt.

The controls to Asteroid are also fresh and intuitive, using a classic Atari controller – a joystick with one button – is a little hard to get the hang of at first, but I eventually was able to figure it out and was well on my way to the adventure of a lifetime, zipping around the given area, not having a care in the world. Speaking of zipping around, Asteroid expects, nay, demands that you have quick reflexes. If you make even one slip then its game over, which isn’t saying a lot, but I needed to pad out the length of the article so I’d say it’s working quite well.

Another thing that Asteroid brings to the table is its unique use of a difficulty curve. It utilizes a nice wave after wave gameplay style that at first might seem redundant, but really starts to become engaging after a while and isn’t at all mind numbing in any way, shape, or form as you complete the same task over and over again with only slightly varying degrees of difficulty. Blow up a rock, blow up a smaller rock; excitement personified!

So where does Asteroid rank? I’d put it down as an underrated and overlooked gem. Seriously, if anyone knows about this game, pick it up; it’s out of this world. Unless you don’t have an Atari, then you may have a slight problem on your hands. Until next time, Buttonmashers!

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