It’s 1980 All Over Again

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The holidays are upon us, and we all know what that means: More time for gaming! And so games will be my main focus for the next week.

Games often lead the way in exploring new technologies and pushing them to their limits, because players are always eager for newer and cooler experiences. But there's also a counter-trend in game development, namely "porting," or re-creating classic games on new platforms. Just as much as everybody loves discovering mind-blowing, browser-bending new games, they also love playing some of the old classics, and those are continually finding their way from platform to platform.

Take, for example, Asteroids 10k. Inspired by the 10K Apart contest I've covered here a few times before, it's a compact rendition of Atari's second edition of the game (Asteroids Deluxe). This port relies on the powerful new HTML5 canvas element, which comes alive in Internet Explorer 9.

As in Atari's own online version, in Asteroids 10k you use arrow keys and the spacebar to turn, thrust, put up a shield, and fire at big floating rocks. You gain extra powers by flying your ship into simple multicolored rings. New to this version are bombs (launched with the "z" key), which pack a lot of power but deplete shield energy. The on-screen graphics and action respond instantly to key presses, at least in browsers with a fast script interpreter such as IE9. The developer, Kevin Roast, does much more in 10k than should be possible -- in part by very cleverly embedding the required code in a bitmap image -- and the result is just as addictive.

This story, "It’s 1980 All Over Again" was originally published by BrandPost.

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