Game Name: Asteroids    

Manufacturer: Atari Inc.

Year of development: 1979

Category: Shooter

Hardware Platform Info:

  • Use a monochrome vector monitor
  • Generic MOS 6502 @ 1.5Mhz processor, which uses a digital vector generator (DVG) with which it shares 2Kb of RAM
  • Code stored in 6Kb ROM
  • Additional 2Kb of ROM for vector graphics data
  • Additional 1 Kb of RAM for data during execution.

Main developers: Lyle Rains y Ed Logg

Music Composers: Howard Delman (circuitry for game sounds)


History of development:

Following in wake of the space theme in video games, Atari decides to develop a mix game of classic Computer Space and Space Invaders. Decides to change the traditional dynamics of game, allowing the player to move his ship across screen. A vector monitor was selected because it allowed more resolution than scanning monitors of time and allowed more precision when aiming at targets.

The game was a success and sold more than 70,000 units, generating a profit for Atari of around 150 million dollars from machines sales and to operators around 500 million dollars from the collection of players.

General description of the game:

We are at the controls of our spaceship in the middle of an endless number of asteroids that we must avoid or destroy to avoid crashing into them. Destroying an asteroid will break it into smaller pieces, increasing the number of rocks to avoid and making destroying smaller rocks more difficult. To make our adventure even more interesting, enemy ships will also appear from time to time to fire on us.

The ship's controls are made up of buttons only, to control right / left rotation, push, fire and the ability to jump to a random area of the screen (hyperspace).


Each 10,000 points player receives an extra life, which appears drawn as a triangle at the top of screen. If the player is skilled enough to accumulate lives, the game ends up slowing down due to the redrawing time of all the elements on screen.

It is one of the first games to incorporate elements of physics, such as inertia in action.



Information about the location and purchase by Arcade Vintage:

Machine acquired by José Mª Litarte on July 8, 2013 from Steve Hatton. It was brought to Spain from Birkenhead near Liverpool, England using an online transport auction system to choose the cheapest possible carrier. The auction and transport process was televised as one of episodes of the British TV show Shipping Wars.

Information about the restoration process or repairs carried out:

The machine was purchased fully functional, but upon arrival at our association it was not operational due to mishandling by carriers. Our technician Rafael Alonso had to check connectors and voltages of the power supply to make it work perfectly again. Ricardo Fernández-Vega restored two sets of replacement plates that came with machine.

Links to other related websites:

Link to the video of the episode of Shipping Wars”: