Review: Meteorites (Atari 5200)

In this review, we break into the Atari 5200 game Meteorites. We find out if this survival game is worth a play.

This game was released in 1983.

You play a space ship. The goal is to destroy all the asteroids in the playing space. If you hit a large asteroid, it’ll break up into two smaller parts. Destroy one of the smaller parts, and you’ll get two tiny asteroids to contend with. Destroy the tiny asteroids and you’ll destroy it completely.

On occasion, you’ll also encounter the odd UFO that tries to destroy you. It’ll fire the occasional shot, but killing it is not critical to advance to the next stage. Still, it’s in your best interest to eliminate such threats. There is a larger UFO and a smaller UFO. Both will behave in the same manner.

You can move left and right and fire at the asteroids. You also have forward thrusters, but no reverse thrusters. In addition, the secondary button will initiate your panic warp. You’ll instantly disappear and then eventually turn up in a random location on the map. If it happens to be an asteroid or where an enemy has fired, you’ll be destroyed. Still, better a random chance at death than a certain one, right?

you have three lives to work with.

At this point, some of you might be thinking that this game is basically Asteroids. You would be correct in that assessment. It’s basically the exact same game, only without the ability to move backwards. It’s pretty much a clone game.

Not only is this a clone game, but a slightly more rough around the edges kind of clone. There’s no high score system. There is no way for you to track what level you are on. In fact, you have to just hit start after you lose all of your lives to start a new game.

Generally speaking, this is basically a low quality copy of Asteroids.

The graphics are very basic. While there is some level of detailing in the asteroids, everything else is so basic, you’d think that you could pull this game off in the Atari 2600 system. While the debris effect and explosion effect isn’t bad, there’s really not much praiseworthy in this one.

There is no music. All you get is the two note loop that gradually goes faster the longer you play a level. The sound effects are OK, but the audio still leaves a lot to be desired.

Overall, you are better off playing Asteroids. This is basically a low quality clone of it. You can’t move backwards, there is no high score system, and no real originality to be had here. The graphics are extremely basic. With the exception of debris effects and maybe the explosion, this is the kind of game that could even be pulled off on the Atari 2600. The sound effects are OK, but with no music, there really isn’t much to hear. I’d say this is a game to pass on. Not really worth it.

Furthest point in game: Think I died in wave 4.
High score: 6,040

General gameplay: 12/25
Replay value: 4/10
Graphics: 3/10
Audio: 2/5

Overall rating: 42%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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