Mattel’s answer to Atari’s Asteroids came in the form of a game called Astrosmash on the Intellivision. In 1982, the game was ported to the Atari 2600 under Mattel’s M-Network brand and the name of the game was changed to Astroblast.

The goal of the game is to shoot as many of the falling space rocks as possible while avoiding being hit by them. In Astroblast the player controls a moving laser base at the bottom of the screen (on what looks like a planetary surface). The laser base move left to right only and has unlimited ammo. The goal is to play as long as possible to get the highest score possible. At the start of the game you get 10 lives, which may sound like a lot but you’ll find out that those go by fast as the pace of the game picks up. Falling from the sky are not only the space rocks but also spinning bombs, guided missiles, and UFO bombs (the latter only after the score reaches 20,000). The spinners are of particular interest because, should they get to the ground, they will make your laser base explode. The space rocks fall down in two sizes (with larger ones splitting when hit) and at varying speeds. The smaller rocks give more points but they also take away more points if they reach the ground. Yes, this game gives and takes away points! While destroying any of the falling objects scores you points, any objects that reach the ground (other than spinners) cost you points. Astroblast has blocky graphics but they work well for the game. Action is fast and addictive. Your final score is your peak score and it is shown once the game ends.


TrekMD is an MD by day and a writer by night, a lover of all things Atari. You can visit his ramblings  on Twitter at:

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