Review – Asteroids: Recharged

I am not at all surprised with the fact that Asteroids: Recharged exists. On the other hand, I am impressed with how long it took for Atari to release it. At this point, I’ve spoken my peace about the Recharged series of retro remakes and their diminishing oomph factor, but Asteroids is easily the one franchise that would, could, and should benefit the most from this neon-infused vector-esque art style. The original was already a vector-based sci-fi game, so porting its gameplay loop and premise to this brand new Recharged coat of paint should work, right?

Asteroids: Recharged Graphics

Asteroids: Recharged looks quite good, despite featuring the same visual style from the other Recharged titles.

For the uninitiated, the Recharged games are a series of neon-colored remakes of old Atari classics, such as Missile Command, Centipede, Black Widow, and Breakout. They aren’t reinventions of any game’s formula. They are basically the same damn thing from forty years ago, but prettier and with a handful of new powerups. Weirdly enough, the powerups are shared between these games. So far, these games have been either okay or mediocre, depending on how well the vector-like art style fit with each game’s premise. For example, a bunch of laser-shooting centipedes and spiders did not look very interesting with this new coat of paint.

Asteroids, on the other hand, does. I can easily say that, visually, Asteroids: Recharged is the best looking Recharged title so far. Strangely enough, I believe this is because it’s the one that looks the most like its actual 1979 counterpart. It retains most of its vector-like assets, just with a (much) better framerate, lots of neon, and tons of particles. It feels like a natural evolution over the classic, all while retaining its gameplay loop. This is comprised of shooting asteroids inside a small playfield, all while avoiding debris and alien attacks, with some intentionally wonky thrust and turning controls.

Asteroids: Recharged Powerups

Once the powerups start to show up onscreen, Asteroids: Recharged becomes a mess. A fun mess, but a mess.

The Asteroids gameplay loop is really simple and very replayable, making it a perfect title to be released on a portable like the Switch. By no means is Asteroids: Recharged groundbreaking with its presentation or amount of content, as there’s very little in this cheap package that wasn’t present in the forty-two year old arcade original. Besides the aforementioned powerups which transform the entire playfield into an oddly entertaining laser mess, you have online leaderboards. There’s also a soundtrack, which while far from being amazing, is a lot better than any other Recharged title so far.


Some of these powerups are a bit overkill, but we’re not playing Asteroids competitively anyway.

There’s very little else that can be said about Asteroids: Recharged. What you see is what you get. It’s yet another bite-sized Recharged version of an Atari classic, but one that actually looks good enough, has an okay soundtrack, and feels like the perfect balance between retro and modern, all thanks to its mixture of vector graphics and a ton of neon particle effects. I am still not convinced that this is all Atari should be focusing on, as they have to prove themselves even more right now due to their overpriced console. However, Asteroids: Recharged is easily the best modern re-imagining of a classic that they have released so far in this Recharged series of games.


Graphics: 7.5

Given how the original Asteroids was already comprised of vector graphics, the inclusion of neon particle effects clashing with retro assets ended up looking pretty good, especially in portable mode.

Gameplay: 8.0

Your ship’s movement is intentionally clunky, but that’s what makes the overall Asteroids gameplay loop so addictive. All in all, it’s the same game from 1979 in terms of gameplay, with the addition of a few new powerups and an obvious boost in performance.

Sound: 6.5

Asteroids: Recharged‘s soundtrack is by no means amazing, but it’s a noticeable improvement when compared to its predecessors.

Fun Factor: 7.0

Just like the other recent games in this series, Asteroids: Recharged is far from being a game changer for Atari, but it’s a lot more fun and polished than the Recharged versions of Centipede and Black Widow. If you have to pick just one of those Atari remakes, consider picking up this one and on a portable.

Final Verdict: 7.5

Asteroids: Recharged is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, Switch, and Atari VCS.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Asteroids: Recharged was provided by the publisher.