While on a routine Stellar Cartography mission, UESC Rains experienced a malfunction and warped into an asteroid field in an unknown sector of space. Unable to get a bearing to safely warp out, the ship must blast the asteroids into smithereens to prevent imminent destruction. To make matters worse, the local inhabitants are xenophobic and have sent warships and Magna-Mines to eliminate the alien (that's you!) threat.
As the pilot of your ship you must maneuver instantly, rotating left, right and energizing your thrusters to avoid destruction. A direct hit on an asteroid with your laser cannon breaks it in two. A hit on one of these breaks it into two smaller asteroids, a final hit on a small asteroid destroys it completely. Your ship is equipped with a special defensive option to help you avoid collisions when the action gets intense!
Space Rocks is an impressive blending of the classic arcade games Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe, crafted for the Atari 2600 by Darrell Spice, Jr. If you're a fan of either arcade cabinet (or both!), you'll love Space Rocks! While Atari's version of Asteroids for the 2600 was passable at the time of its release, Space Rocks blasts far ahead of this early effort. Taking full advantage of the DPC+ mode in our Melody Board, Space Rocks pushes the Atari 2600 to its limits and offers a wide variety of gameplay options to keep you playing for years to come. The graphics, animations, and sound effects are well above what is typically experienced on the 2600.
- One or Two Players
- Head-to-Head or Cooperative Two Player Modes
- Vector or Solid graphic styles
- Mutlicolor rocks, or choose one of 16 monochrome color themes
- Four difficulty levels: Kids, Easy, Normal, and Hard
- Choose Shields, Hyperspace or 180 Degree Turn when you press Down on the controller
- Friction can be turned on or off
- Bonus life can be set to 5K, 10K, 20K or disabled
- Supports Gamepads and Joysticks
- Magna-Mines can be toggled on or off
In 2012 we held a Space Rocks Label Contest. We received a total of 55 great submissions from AtariAge visitors! Dave Dries' entry was chosen at the winner, and his artwork graces the box, manual and label for the game, as well as the posters we had printed up! You can learn more about the contest and view all the submissions here.
Space Rocks Poster
We love Dave Dries' artwork for Space Rocks so much that we printed up 18" x 24" posters! For an additional $10 (US), $15 (Canada), or $20 (Internationally outside US/Canada) you can add one of these posters to your order. It will be shipped in a very strong tube (thicker than we've used for previous posters!) to help ensure that it arrives safely, and of course so we don't have to fold it! We've already professionally framed one of these posters to hang on the wall, and it looks great!
Available in NTSC and PAL60 television formats--please select above. If you do not select, you will receive an NTSC cartridge by default.
Get a Space Rocks Box!
If you'd like a boxed copy of Space Rocks, please select "Box Upgrade: Yes" at the top of the page before adding Space Rocks to your cart. Our boxes are professionally printed and include a box insert to hold your Space Rocks cartridge in place. We want you to play our games, so we have not sealed or shrinkwrapped the boxes in any way, allowing you easy access to the game cartridge and manual.
These boxes are the same size as boxes Atari produced for their games "back in the day". They look great sitting on a shelf with your other boxed homebrew games, or alongside games from the classic Atari 2600 library. We only have a limited number of boxes for each game, and there is no guarantee they will become available again once our supplies are exhausted. Click on the images to the right to see larger photos of the box.
|Number of Players||1 - 2|
|Controller||Joystick, Amiga CD32 Joypad, Sega Genesis Gamepad|
|Cartridge Size||32K Melody Enhanced|
|Programming||Darrell Spice, Jr.|
|Sound Effects||Bob DeCrescenzo|
|Game Graphics||Nathan Strum|
|Label and Manual Design||Dave Dries|
It's a masterpiece.
Stop whatever you are doing and buy this game now!
Multicolor is my favorite color setting but you can set it to Asteroids standard black.
A quick demo to my spouse turned into an evening of coop play cycling through the many options from the great setup screen. She's not much of a gamer so I consider that a testament to the games's addictive quality.
The sheer number of flicker-free on-screen objects is impressive - a screen full of small asteroids with UFO and Magna-Mines in pursuit can be downright *frantic*. Highly recommended!
My review isn't as long as the others but take it from me. if you like Asteroids even the slightest than you should buy this game! You have to love the artwork too, the alternate angle on the back of the box is really cool when it's in your hands and you are flipping it over.
Now there is. And it's still an Atari 2600 cart. And it plays like a 1980s dream of a VCS game that would give an arcade machine a run for its money, even as it allows me to indulge my (surprising) nostalgia for the multicolored marshmallows that floated across my parents' Magnavox CRT all those years ago. Not to mention the wacky little shield icon that looks like a kid's drawing of a mosquito bite and somehow lets matter pass through your ship while it remains intact. It surprises me how much I dig those holdovers from the original cart. I guess that proves that the Atari mystique was--and is--as much about the experience of the machine itself, and its relationship to its moment in the history of gaming and computing, as it is about the quality of the games, old or new. But make no mistake: the gameplay and relative depth of the game (which is not easy to manage considering the simplicity of the concept) are top-notch for this or any other classic system.
I am smitten with everything about this game: the choice I'm given between fruity treats and badass vectoresque space rocks, the opportunity to decide FOR MYSELF whether I want my asteroids to reflect all the colors of the rainbow or only the steely cold gray (or green, or blue) of (imaginary) outer space, the mutliplayer options, the beautifully designed options screen (beats having to flip through a manual to find the Game Options grid and then pull the SELECT lever 66 times to get where I want to be), even the sound effects, which are enough like both the arcade version and the good ol' 2600 adaptation to make me hear Tom Petty's "Woman In Love" in my head whenever I turn on the heavy sixer. And that's what one has a right to experience when playing any game on the Atari VCS.
No that is not my enthusiastic declaration of my admiration for the universe, it is the name of one of the latest and greatest homebrews for the Atari 2600 available at Atariage. The game comes in a very high quality and professional looking box with manual and even a spiffy little fridge magnet for posting your high scores for the whole family to see.
If you haven't guessed, Space Rocks is an updated port of Asteroids, but not just Asteroids as it incorporates aspects of it's sequel - Asteroids Deluxe. So why another version of Asteroids on the 2600? Well the original was a very good game for the time, in fact it is one of my favorites. However, some things just weren't done quite right, such as the asteroids moving in a predictible up and down pattern. Space Rocks corrects this by making the, well, space rocks move in a more chaotic and unpredictible manner. As well, you now have the option of giving the asteroids a more vector-like appearance, better mimicking the arcade original.
In fact one of the greatest things about Space Rocks is the amount of customisation that is available to you. When you turn on the game you are greated with a nice color menu chock full of options to play with such as:
one or two players - you can play head to head or co-op with both ships on the screen simultaneously - you can choose the aformentioned vector look for the asteroids or the traditional solid look of the 2600 original - there's even an option to choose from one of 16 different colors or play with a multi-colored theme - 4 difficulty levels from kids to easy, normal and hard - play with shields, hyperspace or 180 degree flip - you can turn friction on or off - set your score for obtaining bonus lives, if at all - choose joysticks or genesis style gamepads and finally turning on or off the asteroids deluxe style magna mines which appear toward the end of each level and break apart when shot and slowly converge on your ship.
So how does the game play - in a word - just fantastic - ok that's two words, well one word with a qualifier in front of it. At any rate, Space Rocks takes the original 2600 asteroids and improves on every aspect of it. The gameplay is more frenetic than the original the control is tight and responsive no matter what control scheme you choose, the graphics and animations are fantastic, as the explosion of your ship and asteroids will continue on the path they were travelling, the spinning ufo's giving them a more interesting look, or even the thrust your ships exhaust. The sound is similarly well done and very reminiscent of the original 2600 asteroids as well as new sound effects like the warble of your activated shields.
I can't rave about a game like Space Rocks enough. The games author, Darrel Spice Jr has created what i consider to be a pinnacle gaming experience within an already excellent homebrew scene for the atari 2600. This game has easily gained a premiere place in my atari collection, and it should be in yours as well. Space Rocks is everything an atari 2600 game should be and is a fantastic reason to revisit such a classic video gaming console. You can definitely say that space rocks, rocks.