(Thanks to commentor Gus for alerting us to this)
It’s a good time to be a fan of late 70s/early 80s Atari arcade titles. First we had the revelation a short while ago of the Gravitar-like Cosmotrons getting an arcade release and now it looks like the same treatment will be taking place with the beloved Asteroids.
‘Roids – A Coin-Op Arcade Re-imagining Of Asteroids
Asteroids was Atari’s best selling arcade title in history, by this account selling a total of 57,165 units (the 3 models combined) during it’s production run. The game also received numerous official ports to game consoles over time, along with more clones and forks than you can count. That’s normal for a concept that was timeless in its penchant for fun and replayability.
Atari celebrated 45 years since incorporation yesterday, making it sad how the current version of Atari doesn’t have a clue how to handle the property. So, leave it to independent developers to give the concept a fresh face. Such is the case with ‘Roids by a group called Replay Games.
The reason why we are bringing it up is that while it will be released to various home platforms, Replay Games is currently running a Kickstarter to give the game a proper coin-op arcade release. As of this writing, they are just a few dollars shy of hitting the $3000 mark with $5000 being the end goal. Several of the goal rewards are for a variation of the arcade edition with just the software, a basic conversion kit, a deluxe conversion kit, a bartop cabinet and a full blown cabinet rounding out the options. The conversion kit has been designed to drop into an original Asteroids or Asteroids Deluxe cabinet. For a full blown cabinet they only are offering four cabs for now but I wouldn’t be surprised if demand was there for them to create more.
The Kickstarter page mentions that the game is pretty much ready to ship although they will be making some code adjustments based on feedback from initial playtesting that was held at the recent Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show. One difference that I didn’t initially catch from the video but is in the KS comments are that the rocks will leave gems that serve as score multipliers and the game will let you pick between hyperspace and shields as a defensive measure. It also will support 2 player – either on the same cabinet if you are putting it into something like a JAMMA cabinet or linking two cabinets together along with two ships to choose from with different characteristics. It isn’t clear from that description if there will be any other new features added (such as any ideas from Space Duel, Blasteroids or some of the Asteroids variations out there).
Replay Games is also looking to expand their software line-up, stating “The boards will support future games as well as allow for software developers to use the Unity Game Development Engine to create their own games.” and “Replay Games is working on a couple of other titles for the platform, including a high intensity, double joystick shooter in the genre of Robotron, Smash TV and Geometry Wars. As well a cartoon style platformer that will support up to four player multiplayer. ” In a way it sounds a little bit like what Griffin Aerotech is offering via their Airframe platform.
All-in-all, I’m glad to see more developments coming our way via the indie route. Breaking into arcade creation is no easy or cheap task but titles like this do have a market out there between operators who still use classics as a part of their game line-up and collectors looking for something ‘old but new’.
What are your thoughts on ‘Roids (no, not the steroid kind ;P )?