Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Megaroids


Asteroids is a true arcade classic and one that has been converted to just about every home computer ever made. Not to be left out, Megamax released Megaroids for the Atari ST in 1985 which was developed using their own C programming tool. If I'm honest, initially I expected a crude take on this old game with poor graphics and pathetic gameplay... Come on, it was made in 1985 the same year Atari gave birth to the ST. Well, how wrong I was...


I can just imagine business users in the 80s playing this during their lunch hour!

The visuals are different, gone are the vectors in favour of nicely drawn bitmaps sweeping across the screen like butter from a hot knife. This game is smooth and looks wonderful in high resolution. Don't worry, colour systems haven't been forgotten and look just as unique using medium resolution which has been interlaced to 640x400 (4 colours). Wow, this doesn't hurt the eyes and looks gorgeous - I wish more game developers used interlace!


Interlace can be rather cool and Megaroids proves there actually was a legit use for it after all...

Megaroids not only looks gorgeous (well, for Asteroids!) but it plays with an authentic touch I liked. It feels like the real deal and plays extremely well to offer a bucket load of retro action. In fact, a part of me still doesn't grasp how this so good for a 1985 release. Overall, a superb clone that offers tons of fun blasting chunks of rock to smithereens.

Both AtariMania and Old Games Finder have access to the downloads. Enjoy and tell me what you think!

2 comments:

  1. Nah, it wasn't interlaced in med res. Straight up 640x200. However they did a good job of remaking the graphics for the halved vertical rez and getting as close to vector as you can on a 15khz raster screen. Plus it running in colour did mean you got a slight bonus... as I recall, the aliens came in different colours (including that ^%$&!!! little one), and as you moved through the levels the rocks became tinted differently as well. So basically against the flat black background, all of your ship (and shots/score), the rocks, and the aliens were painted in a unique colour. Not the most sophisticated approach to using a 4-colour palette but a very effective one.

    And it remains one of the tightest versions of Asteroids I've ever played, and amazingly good value for what was, for us, a bit of magazine coverdisc freeware. We got *hours* of play out of it.

    (seriously, they made it in 1985? hardly anyone was making good use of the ST hardware at the time. let's give them a 33-year-late pat on the back...)

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    1. look closer, it's interlaced alright. Hey, thanks for all the comments, really appreciate you popping over and browsing through what's here :)

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