Atari’s Asteroids Recharged Is Coming To Amusement Expo 2024

arcadehero March 18, 2024 4

Last week, the news dropped that newcomer Alan-1 had signed a partnership deal with Atari to bring ten of their “Recharged” games to the coin-op arcade market. With the Amusement Expo 2024 trade show opening on Wednesday, the first of those titles has been revealed: Asteroids Recharged.

Wondering what Amusement Expo is? Check out this link.

Asteroids Is Making A Comeback

If you’ve been around for a while, then you know what Asteroids is, but if you’re a young’un, it might have missed your radar. The original was released by Atari to arcades back in November 1979 and it not only became one of the top earning games of 1980 & ’81, it also became Atari’s best-selling arcade title of all time.

It received a few coin-op sequels (Asteroids Deluxe, Space Duel, and Blasteroids); It was was also ported various times to consoles. Other than that, the name hasn’t been around in arcades in a long time.  A modern 8-player version by Play Mechanix and ICE was tested back in 2022, but it never made it out of testing. Now thanks to newcomer Alan-1, that is going to change.

Asteroids Recharged – Arcade Edition

As reported on last week, Utah-based developer Alan-1 signed a partnership with Atari SA to bring all ten of the Atari Recharged games to modern arcades. Many have been curious as to which game might be first, but as you read with the headline, that is Asteroids. Atari released a render of the cabs on their social media, so I can go ahead and discuss this freely – with pics of the actual machines:

Asteroids Recharged

Asteroids being the first of the bunch to get the coin-op treatment makes sense, given the success that the game brought to Atari as a brand. It and Centipede make you think Atari, so it is probably better to start with this as opposed to something more obscure like Quantum or Caverns of Mars. Here is a video of the game in action, from the instance captured below.

Asteroids Recharged 2-player

Here’s an early render of a 4-player cabinet. Note that artwork can and may very well change by the time this hits production later this year. Keep scrolling though, as I got to see two of the first cabinets in person already.

Asteroids Recharged

The versions that will be at the show are 2 and 3-player configurations. Here’s some gameplay, where you can already notice some changes, such as the number of bullets that can be fired:

Visiting Area 52

I made a visit to an Alan-1 development facility (called Area 52 – I can explain why they use that name to anyone who cares…) on Friday and had a chance to check the cabinets out. They were still in the process of being built; Neither had the control panels installed and speakers were missing, but they were almost “there” in terms of being show-ready. I have to admit that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help a little, so I installed some T-molding on the 3-player cabinet and added in some wiring for the speakers – but any contribution on my part was minor. They also asked what I thought about the color choice for the buttons. It made sense with the colors they had to use red for fire, green for thrust(go), and yellow for hyperspace(caution, since that’s often a risk).

Asteroids Recharged Control Panel

As I did not get a chance to play the game, I can’t comment on that yet, aside from the videos up above. Given that it will be at Amusement Expo on Wednesday however, I’ll be able to film it and provide feedback from there. I do know from what James Anderson (Alan-1 CEO) had said, the game is already a little different from the console version. They’ve only had the code for a few weeks though. James had mentioned how there were various things about the console version that he wanted to adjust to bring the game more in line with the original, while still providing something new to the market.

Asteroids Recharged and Avian Knights under construction

As to the build quality of the cabinets, I couldn’t help but be impressed. Alan-1 has a CNC routing machine for cutting the cabinet sides and a high-end Epson printer that can print the art straight to the surface. I can’t recall the exact type of print that it is, but it is capable of producing HD quality, textured art. In a way it seems like it’s a commercial-grade, large format printer with a little bit of 3D print capability. If you squint hard enough, you can see the Alan-1 logo printed onto the side of their Avian Knights cab, and you can feel it raised above the print surface.

Also as a note, there will be two Avian Knights cabinets at Amusement Expo, a 2 and 4-player cab. These have changed a bit from what was shown last year, from the Crystal Castles inspired sub-marquee, to a complete redesign of how the fan/wind feedback system works (no more grills right there on the control panel). Asteroids Recharged is using the same kind of design, which you should be able to tell from the photos up above.

When Will It Be Available?

Asteroids Recharged Arcade is slated to be released “Q3 2024.” It is a little early for pricing, although I would assume that it will be close to Avian Knights (which is under $8k for the 2p model – I will verify what the prices are at the show). When it comes to testing, James mentioned that he would like to test both Avian Knights and Asteroids Recharged at my facility, but when that might happen is something we’ll have to work out. I get a nice mix of casual and hardcore players though, so it should be interesting to see how it does.

What do you think about this game from what has been shared so far?


  1. GraffitiTavern March 21, 2024 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Very excited to play this, the art translated well to a cabinet. I wonder if there will be a kit version for those operators who are willing to lose the fan feature?

    • arcadehero March 22, 2024 at 7:21 am - Reply

      I asked about kits and they said no, as they prefer to offer a certain experience with each game. “JAMMA killed arcades in the 80s” is what one of them said, in the sense that it robbed games of their uniqueness by just putting them into generic boxes.

  2. GraffitiTavern March 22, 2024 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Wow. I very much disagree with that but I respect that they at least care about the medium instead of just cashing in on a license.

  3. Marcelo March 30, 2024 at 2:21 am - Reply

    I wish there were more atari games on the arcade.
    I go to the arcade and i want to see more games new ones and remakes and more of them like before they killed atari games then i bfought in my pc or switch or else.

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