Astrosmash started out as a clone of the arcade game Asteroids, called Meteor!. The game wasn't very big, so John Sohl used the extra room in the cartridge to come up with a variation called Avalanche using the same graphics and sound effects. At the last minute, afraid of a lawsuit from Atari, the Mattel lawyers killed the Asteroids-like Meteor!. Rather than risk introducing bugs by deleting code, John simply put a branch around the opening-screen menu straight into the Avalanche! variation, which was released under the name Astrosmash. Very rarely, when there's a glitch hitting RESET, the Asteroids version will show up on screen.