The player's controls consist of thrust and fire buttons, and rotate left/rotate right buttons (actually rotate counterclockwise and rotate clockwise respectively). The momentum of the player's ship is not conserved, and it starts to slow down if thrust is not applied. There is also a hyperspace button, which randomly teleports the player's ship somewhere on the screen, with the risk of exploding upon rematerialization (or rematerializing inside an asteroid).
The player's ship appears in the middle of the screen, with 4 large asteroids drifting around. Each large asteroid (20 points) breaks into 2 medium-sized ones (50 points) when shot, which in turn breaks into 2 small (100 points) asteroids. The medium and small asteroids can travel at widely varying speeds. Periodically one of two types of flying saucers ("UFOs") will fly onto the screen: the big one (worth 200 points) shoots in random directions, while the small one (1000 points) attempts to aim at the player. They tend to appear more often when few asteroids remained on the screen and/or the player hasn't shot an asteroid recently.
The screen wraps around, allowing the player's ship, as well as asteroids and shots but not saucers, to fly off the one edge of the screen and reappear on the opposite side. Once a level has been cleared of all asteroids and UFOs, a new set of large asteroids would appear, increasing by 2 each round up to a maximum of 12.
The maximum score possible is 99,990 points, after which it turns back over to zero. A player who desires to get onto the top score list must be careful to shoot just enough asteroids/UFOs to reach this score without going over (including committing suicide with the last ship left to reach the final total!).
On some early versions of the game it was possible to hide the ship in the score area indefinitely without being hit by asteroids.
Two of the all-time classic arcade games come to Xbox LIVE® Arcade in Asteroids©, Asteroids Deluxe©, a combo of intense action where players must save earth from a deadly bombardment of asteroids. The full historic game is available in its original form, along with a completely re-stylized version featuring evolved graphics.
- The original Asteroids: Released in 1979 by Atari, the simple black and white game was a masterpiece of vector graphics game design, and had millions of arcadegoers entranced by its simple mechanic of controlling a spaceship firing at and destroying asteroids.
- The release of Asteroids Deluxe: The sequel to the original, released in 1980, Asteroids Deluxe featured the same classic gameplay but added a new shield feature and dangerous satellite enemies. Play both the original and its sequel in all of its classic old-school style.
- Next-gen evolution: But now, both games have evolved. Support is provided for both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, including HDTV. Full-screen anti-aliasing and Dolby Digital surround sound complete the gaming experience.
- Throttle Monkey mode: Both game versions come with a high-speed version known as Throttle Monkey. Can you survive?
- Achievements and leaderboards: Twelve new achievements for you to earn, and new leaderboards to conquer. Show your friends who is the master at Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe.