Cabaret Asteroids

Title		Cabaret Asteroids
Game Type	Shoot-em-up
Company		Vertical Developments, 1991 (Atari, 1979)
Players		1-2
HD Installable	With Patch
Compatibility	All (With Patch)
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

Cabaret Asteroids is a Shareware version of the classic arcade game
Asteroids, released by Atari back in 1979. Asteroids was, as I recall,
part of the second wave of games that could be found in pubs replacing the
original coin-ops like Space Invaders. My memory of playing the game is
from 1980 when every pub seemed to have The Police on the juke box, and
the pub itself was selected as being worthy of a visit by virtue of its
arcade machine. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of
Asteroids here is a description: The game is displayed in high contrast
black and white, that's just black and white, there are no shades of
grey in this game. Your ship is a small white triangle, in the centre of a
black screen. When the game starts, asteroids, large irregular rock shapes,
drift gently into view from the outer edges of the screen. Your ship can
rotate in either direction, and fire, so this is what you must do, in
order to prevent your ship from being destroyed. As your shots hit the
asteroids they break into smaller and smaller fragments, and the
directions and speeds imparted to them seem to be highly convincing. When
I think back to those days, I played the game like this, occasionally
using the risky hyperspace key that would frequently have fatal results.
It was a considerable time before I had any success with the Thrust
button. By 'thrusting' and carefully using the rotational keys, you could
fly about the screen, enabling your safe escape from otherwise deadly
situations. This was a revelation to me, and I studied hard, and spent
pounds, in an attempt to master it.

But there's more! Every few minutes an enemy flying saucer would weave
across the screen, attempting to dodge the asteroids, and shoot at you.
These ships came in two sizes, the smaller being harder to hit, and as I
recall, more aggressive in its behaviour. If you made it to 10,000 points
you got another ship, and another at 20,000 and so on. ...And that's it.
Very simple stuff, but hugely playable. After a few beers, my friends and
I would attempt to gain 'prestige points' for playing with style. This
would entail various drunken japes such as attempting to dock (totally
fatal) with the asteroids. The thinking behind this was that the larger
asteroids had these little 'V' shaped cuts in them, that your ship would
fit in beautifully, so.....

Cabaret Asteroids is a near perfect conversion of Asteroids for the Amiga.
Thanks to the prolific Bored Seal, Patcher Extroidinaire, the game has
been patched and is now hard disk installable and will work on newer
systems. If you've played the excellent Stardust by Bloodhouse or Team
17's even better Super Stardust, Asteroids (apart from a lack of the
awesome tunnel sequences) is where the idea was born. Its not in
technicolor, there is no music, and the sounds are simple but effective.
The playability of the original has not been surpassed though.

I really can't fault the Cabaret Asteroids conversion, you can play by
keyboard or joystick and it feels just like 1980, but without Sting and
the guys in the background.

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