Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Electra Concepts' Meteorites-Atari 5200
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewElectra Concepts' Meteorites for Atari 5200 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Meteorites
Manufacturer: Electra Concepts
Platform: Atari 5200
Release Date: 1983
Part #: n/a
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Electra Concepts' Meteorites Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Electra Concepts' Meteorites Screenshot:
Electra Concepts' Meteorites for Atari 5200 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

If Meteorites seems familiar, Atari had stern words for Electra Concepts when they originally named this game, Disasteroids. It's essentially Asteroids for the 5200. Strangely, Asteroids was never officially released for the 5200. This is likely due to the 5200's non-centering analog stick that wasn't really suited to the game.

I loved Asteroids on the 2600, so the added detail of the "rocks" in Meteorites was a welcome upgrade. Combine this with an Atari console without Asteroids and you see it's instant appeal!

Meteorites Game Play

If you loved other home releases of Asteroids, then Meteorites is sure to please. Although the 5200 was capable of displaying vector-like images, the rocks shown in the proto release look similar to those in the 2600 version. The visuals of meteorites is quite nice. This 1 or 2-player game features alternating turns, with each player using the same controller. Your adventure begins with a Photon Cannon and 3 lives.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Meteorites was originally called Disasteroids but the name was changed under pressure from Atari. Electra Concepts is a company known by collectors. They made only 1 game, Meteorites as well as the Masterplay Interface.
This device allows 2600 compatible controllers to be used on a 5200. Lack of sales prompted Electra Concepts to sell their remaining inventory to a company called Intellicon, who distributed it through discount channels.

Moving the joystick left & right dictates the direction of your ship's rotation. Pushing forward adds thrust in the direction the ship is facing. The lower fire button operates your photon cannon and the upper button lets you flee danger via hyperspace. If used too often, hyperspace can cause overheating resulting in losing a life.

Meteorites can be broken down twice. Originating in large sizes, they break down to medium and small meteorites, each worth increased points. There are 2 sizes of alien ships.

Using the standard 5200 controller takes some getting used to so you don't spin uncontrollably from the lack of auto-centering and the accidental thrust when the joystick floats too far North. A few plays will get you accustomed to it. My only complaint is the speed at which the ship rotates. As an avid Asteroids fan, I found it hard to track some of the smaller faster meteorites due to the ships slow rotation. This may be an attribute to make the game more difficult, but I found it a bit irritating.

Since Electra Concepts also made the Masterplay Interface, the user manual for Meteorites suggests using this device with a 2600 joystick as opposed to the 5200 stick. This may be due to similar performance issues that prevented Atari from releasing Asteroids for the 5200 or it may be a push to sell more Masterplay units.

Atari 5200 Super System console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Electra Concepts' Meteorites

provides an "Asteroids" experience for the Atari 5200. This game is fun and the graphics are a good upgrade to the solid 2600 colors in Asteroids. The 5200 controls are a bit awkward, but the Masterplay Interface solves that. :)

This is a fun game and an excellent addition for the Atari 5200 library!

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