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One of the most popular games of UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfVideoGames. Debuting in 1979, it first appeared in the arcade, but was quickly ported to the UsefulNotes/{{Atari 2600}}, and has made its way onto most platforms since.

You control a ''VideoGame/{{Spacewar}}''-style ship in the middle of an [[TheAsteroidThicket asteroid field]]. All around you, asteroids are floating around. You get points for shooting them; the smaller the asteroid, the more points you get. But each time you shoot any but the smallest, [[AsteroidsMonster they split in two]], and the trajectory is different for both. Oh, and you have to avoid [[EverythingTryingToKillYou getting hit by an asteroid.]] Or shot by an enemy ship that wanders by. In a pinch, you can press the panic button and travel through {{hyperspace}} to a random location... which may not be any better. (In the sequel, ''Asteroids Deluxe'', you get {{deflector shields}} instead.)

In 1987, Atari released ''Blasteroids'', a SpiritualSequel with two-player simultaneous action, transforming ships, power-ups, and a lot more enemies (including an actual FinalBoss, Murkor, who appears to be a distant descendant of VideoGame/{{Sinistar}}), but the same basic shoot-the-rocks gameplay.

If you were looking for a page about ''actual'' asteroids, see AsteroidThicket.
* AsteroidsMonster: The TropeNamer. The asteroids will split in two twice, before breaking into fragments small enough to be destroyed with one shot. Moreover, ''Asteroids Deluxe'' added killer satellites, slow-drifting hexagonal ships that split into three diamonds that made a beeline for your ship, which each split into two wedges that made an ''even faster'' beeline for your ship.
* DeflectorShields: The follow-up game ''Asteroids Deluxe'' replaced Hyperspace with Shields. The Shields slowly wear out over the course of each stage, so they couldn't be used indefinitely, and you couldn't fire while the shields were raised.
** The shields on the Atari 2600 version, however, [[{{Intangibility}} let asteroids and other enemies pass through your ship instead of deflecting them.]]
* EveryTenThousandPoints, the player is awarded an extra life.
* EverythingTryingToKillYou
** Even your own technology (see RandomTransportation below). In the 2600 version, you can choose to play with DeflectorShields instead of hyperspace (similar to Asteroids Deluxe), but using the shields for more than two seconds blows up your ship.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: You want a game with asteroids? Then ''Asteroids'' is the game for you.
* InNameOnly: ''Asteroids: Outpost'' as a first-person shooter. The only thing remotely close to the original is shooting the meteor-like objects ''VideoGame/MissileCommand''-style.
* NoPlotNoProblem: Here's a spaceship. Now shoot some rocks and flying saucers in space. Nothing more is needed for this game. (Some home versions add a small amount of backstory - your ship accidentally flew into an AsteroidThicket, and now you have to blast your way out - but it's not necessary)
* PowerUpLetDown: The Atari 2600 version had a third option if you didn't like Hyperspace or Shields: Flip, which simply rotated your ship 180 degrees instantly. Useful in certain situations, but not as useful as the others. (Technically, there was a fourth option, which was having ''no special power at all'').
* RandomTransportation: Hyperspace is used as an emergency escape, sometimes dropping you right in front of another asteroid.
* SongsInTheKeyOfPanic: An early example, the "heartbeat" sound gets faster as each wave goes on.
* UpdatedRerelease: Activision released [[http://www.ign.com/articles/1998/11/14/asteroids-3 an enhanced version]] in 1998 for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation, UsefulNotes/Nintendo64, UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor and UsefulNotes/MicrosoftWindows in 1998, featuring massively updated gameplay, graphics and sound.
* WrapAround: All-directional.