Asteroids is a space-themed multidirectional shooter arcade game designed by Lyle Rains, Ed Logg, and Dominic Walsh and released in November 1979 by Atari, Inc. The player controls a single spaceship in an asteroid field which is periodically traversed by flying saucers. The object of the game is to shoot and destroy the asteroids and saucers, while not colliding with either, or being hit by the saucers' counter-fire. The game becomes harder as the number of asteroids increases. Asteroids was one of the first major hits of the golden age of arcade games; the game sold over 70,000 arcade cabinets and proved both popular with players and influential with developers. In the 1980s it was ported to Atari's home systems, and the Atari VCS version sold over three million copies. The game was widely imitated, and it directly influenced Defender, Gravitar, and many other video games. Asteroids was conceived during a meeting between Logg and Rains, who decided to use hardware developed by Howard Delman, previously used for Lunar Lander. Based on an unfinished game titled Cosmos, and inspired by Spacewar!, Computer Space, and Space Invaders, the physics model, control scheme, and gameplay elements for Asteroids were derived from these earlier games and refined through trial and error. The game is rendered on a vector display in a two-dimensional view that wraps around both screen axes.
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