When we think “barbecue,” we picture a bunch of neighbors hanging out in someone’s backyard, kids playing, dogs catching frisbees, and messy meat being consumed by all. So when we booted up Asteroid BBQ, we excitedly strapped on our bibs and dug in. Unfortunately, all that dripped off our faces were tears of boredom.
One might think that in the thirty years since the original Asteroids game hit the arcades, a developer making a space shooter could come up with a few new ideas. But this game is as stale as a convenience store hot dog.
It’s a BBBQ. The extra B stands for BYOBB.
You’re presented with a 2D view of outer space, with your ship in the center. Next thing you know, green portals start opening up and spewing asteroids at you. Just like in the game’s namesake, you aim and shoot to disintegrate them. You use your ship’s thrusters to move around, but this game’s version of outer space is severely limited; you can soar around the border of the rectangular playing field in ten seconds. The graphics are decent, but only about five objects ever appear onscreen. Music is nonexistent, and the sound effects sound cheap and harsh.
As you blast asteroids, you earn uninteresting powerups that at first make your gun shoot more rapidly, and then fire two and three rounds per shot. No new weapons are introduced. The number of asteroid-emitting portals increases, and after a couple minutes the screen is full of asteroids and portals. Then you die. Upon death, your high score is tracked and shown on the title screen.
And that’s it. No multiplayer mode, no alternate levels or terrain. No meat.
With a quirky name like Asteroid BBQ, we expected a fun, lip-smacking experience. What we got was a nibble-sized tidbit we’ve tasted countless times before. Save your $1.99 for something more filling.
Editor’s Note: Cheap Shot is a new review feature where we pick a game that costs $.99 or $1.99 and give it the quick review treatment. While you won’t find a 1-4 score or our usual pros and cons, you will get a direct assessment of the game based on a one-hour playthrough. You’ll still find our full-length, regular reviews for other games.