Reeling from the fact that they hadn't been responsible for quarter gobbler Space Invaders, Atari desperately scrambles for the next insanely great arcade game. Using ground breaking vector graphics, it was the first game to introduce the high-score table allowing players to compete to have their initials displayed. Asteroids also featured more complicated controls than most games of the time, with five buttons in total (two to rotate your spacecraft, and three for firing, thrust, and Hyperspace).
The original version of the game had a feature that allowed the player to hide their ship in the score field indefinitely without being hit by flying asteroids.
The most famous play tactic for Asteroids is the "hunting" strategy. The player destroys all asteroids except for one that almost clears the playfield and makes it relatively safe. This allows the player to hunt for alien saucers without worrying about being smashed by a lot of flying debris.
Demand is so strong for the game that Atari halts production of its first vector game, Lunar Lander (released just three months earlier), to switch over to making more Asteroids. They go on to sell in excess of 70,000 units, smashing the previous records set by Space Invaders. The 50,000th machine produced came in a special "gold" cabinet that today resides in the home of Ed Logg the games programmer .
L&R Arrows - Left/Right
Space Bar - Fire