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Review by: Bob Mandel
Published: May 11, 1998
Sometimes, if you are really lucky, you encounter a computer game that feels like it was made just for you. The graphics, music, sound effects, and gameplay all seem just right, and no matter how much you play it you simply cannot get enough. Even if you suspect deep down that nobody else in the whole world likes this game nearly as much as you do, you feel like hugging the designers and programmers and saying to them, “Thanks for making one for me!” Such is the case for me with Astrorock 2000.
In late 1996 a small company named Logicware released (through a small distributor named Atlantean) a retail game called Astrorock. As an Asteroids clone it sat on the shelves of software stores during that holiday season with few direct competitors, but it went largely unnoticed by most gaming consumers. Being a diehard arcade shooter fan, however, I took the plunge, and to tell the truth it has never been off my desktop ever since. It separated itself from the many games of this type by its irreverent, tongue-in-cheek, self-parodying plotline, its brilliant, crisp graphics, its frenzied “throw everything at them” gameplay, and its tremendous rock-and-roll sound track. But it was not without flaws, among which were that novices found it extremely hard to play successfully and the number of objects on the screen at any one time seemed awfully limited.
So you can imagine my excitement when I learned out of the blue within the past month that Logicware was about to release a sequel, Astrorock 2000! I could not wait to get my hands on this game, and when my editor in chief here at The Adrenaline Vault heard my eager request to cover it, he remarked, “This has Bob written all over it.” Well, I am thrilled to say that it surpassed even my high expectations. Better still, for those with modest systems (sometimes arcade gamers are at the low end of the hardware technology spectrum), this game runs really well on a 486/66 with only 40 megabytes required for a complete install without using the CD at all.
Although at first glance the external appearance of Astrorock 2000 seems quite similar to the original AstroRock, there are huge differences underneath. Most importantly, there are many more animated objects on the screen at any one point in time; according to Logicware programmer Bill Heineman, there is about a tenfold increase in the magnitude of movement in the game, and the 2D engine is capable of over a thousand animated sprites at once in view. I am simply dazzled and somewhat mesmerized by all of the motion on the screen.
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