Space Rocks - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL60      
Box Upgrade:  No        Yes (Add $15.00)      
18" x 24" Poster:

While on a routine Stellar Cartography mission, UESC Rains experienced a malfunction and warped into an asteroid field in an unknown sector of space. Unable to get a bearing to safely warp out, the ship must blast the asteroids into smithereens to prevent imminent destruction. To make matters worse, the local inhabitants are xenophobic and have sent warships and Magna-Mines to eliminate the alien (that's you!) threat.

As the pilot of your ship you must maneuver instantly, rotating left, right and energizing your thrusters to avoid destruction. A direct hit on an asteroid with your laser cannon breaks it in two. A hit on one of these breaks it into two smaller asteroids, a final hit on a small asteroid destroys it completely. Your ship is equipped with a special defensive option to help you avoid collisions when the action gets intense!

Space Rocks is an impressive blending of the classic arcade games Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe, crafted for the Atari 2600 by Darrell Spice, Jr. If you're a fan of either arcade cabinet (or both!), you'll love Space Rocks! While Atari's version of Asteroids for the 2600 was passable at the time of its release, Space Rocks blasts far ahead of this early effort. Taking full advantage of the DPC+ mode in our Melody Board, Space Rocks pushes the Atari 2600 to its limits and offers a wide variety of gameplay options to keep you playing for years to come. The graphics, animations, and sound effects are well above what is typically experienced on the 2600.

Game Features

  • One or Two Players
  • Head-to-Head or Cooperative Two Player Modes
  • Vector or Solid graphic styles
  • Mutlicolor rocks, or choose one of 16 monochrome color themes
  • Four difficulty levels: Kids, Easy, Normal, and Hard
  • Choose Shields, Hyperspace or 180 Degree Turn when you press Down on the controller
  • Friction can be turned on or off
  • Bonus life can be set to 5K, 10K, 20K or disabled
  • Supports Gamepads and Joysticks
  • Magna-Mines can be toggled on or off

Label Contest

In 2012 we held a Space Rocks Label Contest. We received a total of 55 great submissions from AtariAge visitors! Dave Dries' entry was chosen at the winner, and his artwork graces the box, manual and label for the game, as well as the posters we had printed up! You can learn more about the contest and view all the submissions here.

Space Rocks Poster

We love Dave Dries' artwork for Space Rocks so much that we printed up 18" x 24" posters! For an additional $10 (US), $15 (Canada), or $20 (Internationally outside US/Canada) you can add one of these posters to your order. It will be shipped in a very strong tube (thicker than we've used for previous posters!) to help ensure that it arrives safely, and of course so we don't have to fold it! We've already professionally framed one of these posters to hang on the wall, and it looks great!

Space Rocks Poster

Additional Information

MelodySpace Rocks is a Melody-enhanced game that takes full advantage of the DPC+ mode in the Melody. Space Rocks an eight-page, full-color manual and game cartridge.

Available in NTSC and PAL60 television formats--please select above. If you do not select, you will receive an NTSC cartridge by default.

Get a Space Rocks Box!

Space Rocks BoxSpace Rocks Box

If you'd like a boxed copy of Space Rocks, please select "Box Upgrade: Yes" at the top of the page before adding Space Rocks to your cart. Our boxes are professionally printed and include a box insert to hold your Space Rocks cartridge in place. We want you to play our games, so we have not sealed or shrinkwrapped the boxes in any way, allowing you easy access to the game cartridge and manual.

These boxes are the same size as boxes Atari produced for their games "back in the day". They look great sitting on a shelf with your other boxed homebrew games, or alongside games from the classic Atari 2600 library. We only have a limited number of boxes for each game, and there is no guarantee they will become available again once our supplies are exhausted. Click on the images to the right to see larger photos of the box.

Number of Players 1 - 2
Controller Joystick, Amiga CD32 Joypad, Sega Genesis Gamepad
Cartridge Size 32K Melody Enhanced
Programming Darrell Spice, Jr.
Sound Effects Bob DeCrescenzo
Game Graphics Nathan Strum
Label and Manual Design Dave Dries
Dan Wolak on 03/04/2023 06:11pm
Spiceware's Space Rocks is like a definitive edition of Asteroids. If you're a fan of the arcade classic, this is the version you need to play on the 2600! The opening menu screen offers loads of single-player and two-player options (including co-op!) and the ability to use Sega Genesis controllers for multi button play. You can have filled-in or pseudo-vector style graphics, different colors, and magma mines similar to Asteroids Deluxe. The label and manual artwork and design are also top notch. I highly recommend it.
Young Park on 07/08/2020 03:52pm
Adding another 5 star rating to a game with 19 reviews that are all 5 stars. Enough said, right?

Space Rocks is amazing. It should be in everyone library. It's a 2600 showcase game like those reference videos playing in showrooms to show off the new 4k, 8k TVs. The visuals are stunning. The asteroids rotate and move across the screen and look 3D. The sounds seem to be ripped from the arcade version--so good.

The best thing about Space Rocks for me is that it's not a straight port. Rather, Darrell takes the amazing original game that we all love and makes it way better.
Lee Keebz Kebler on 06/22/2020 08:09pm
It's THE homebrew game of all homebrew games. Asteroids on the Atari was pretty good, but Space Rocks makes its predecessor look like finger paint. It's a work of art. I do wish it supported save key but I'm not sure that was a thing when it came out. This was also the first homebrew I saw where the artwork was so good it should outshine the game. but it doesn't. The art work, the box, manual, cartridge and game are all quality.
CyranoJ on 12/17/2019 12:45am
I've been playing this a while but didn't want to post anything here until I purchased it (got it this week!)

Being the author of Rebooteroids on the Jaguar I wanted to see what the homebrew 2600 guys could do for Asteroids on the 2600, and I was not disappointed. This game has everything, including some things I wish I'd added to Rebooteroids!

You don't need more words, just go watch a video.

In short, this game is fantastic, highly recommended. 11/10 would purchase again.

I tip my hat to Darrell Spice Jnr.
Rictor Riolo on 09/12/2019 11:51am
Asteroids as it was meant to be played on the 2600. Just so you know, it doesn't play on the Retron 77 Atari emulator console. Had to play it on my 7800.
save2600 on 01/29/2019 09:42am
You can retire your original Asteroids cartridge as Space Rocks surpasses it in every conceivable way. With so many customizable options, great graphics and superior gameplay, Space Rocks is sure to delight every fan of the Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe arcade games!
Chris H on 12/03/2017 04:22am
I have tried a number of homebrews on the stella emulator just lately and was undecided about which game should be my next purchase. But, after some thought, I decided upon Space Rocks as this was the game, of all the games that I'd tried, that I found myself most yearning to return to. It is not only very addictive, but beautifully designed. The general game play along with the accompanying graphics, animation and sounds are all first class. There's a host of in game options too, providing lots of variety. An excellent purchase and of course there is no substitute for the game being played on the real 2600 hardware.
VectorGamer on 08/17/2017 11:14am
An absolute superb translation of the Atari arcade smash hit for the 2600 with many game options. I like to set the game colors to black and white to mimic the arcade game. Make sure you pick up a Starplex controller to play this game properly.
David Ward on 07/19/2017 09:05am
Space rocks is the ultimate Asteroids clone for the Atari 2600. It looks, sounds, and plays just like Asteroids should! Don't hesitatate to buy this one it is worth every penny!!
Darryl Hirschler on 05/13/2017 10:53am
Space Rocks is a "system seller", a killer app. It's one that if I'd gotten in the 80's, I may have never put another quarter into the arcade machine. It's so good! It embodies the spirit and gameplay of the arcade version so well. Yet, it is completely 2600! It feels like both an Atari 2600 game AND the arcade classic. How did he do it?
It's a masterpiece.
Roger Wolf on 11/24/2016 12:10pm
what a game! can't get better grafixwise on an atari 2600, astonishing! Also very deep and fun game modes.
Kurt Baumann on 09/29/2016 03:30pm
I've played a lot of conversions of Asteroids, from the 2600 version to the 7800 version and beyond, but this is by far my favorite. I love all the options, form the specials you can perform, to the option to use a Genesis controller for a two button layout, to the color and fill of the asteroids themselves, even to setting the extra life score threshold and turning friction on and off. Space Rocks is simply put, a masterpiece. I've never been more impressed with a 2600 game, nor have I seen a 2600 game capture the exact essence of an arcade classic. I was also extremely impressed with the manual for Space Rocks. High quality, full color, the manual is a work of art. This is a must buy, you owe it to yourself to add this to your 2600 library.
tkarner on 06/09/2016 08:25pm
This is what a 2600 game is all about. Simple graphics and gameplay, crisp controls, fast pace and lots of fun. Initially the screenshots didn't grab my attention. Static screenshots don't look much different than the original 2600 Asteroids. Don't let that fool you. Gameplay is vastly improved. The rocks' movement and how they react to shots reminds me of the 5200/8bit version, but smoother (That's a compliment. Although that version had many flaws this wasn't one of them.) And although the 7800 version probably had the best graphics it never created a sense of urgency during gameplay. For these reasons this may be the best home version available. How often can a 2600 version of a game say that? The many menu options and even some elements from Asteroids Deluxe are an added bonus.
Steven Ramirez on 10/02/2015 11:29pm
If you like Asteroids then look no further as this is the definitive Asteroids clone for the 2600. This game has it all, combining elements from Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe with a simple and intuitive options screen that allows you to customize the game to further enhance the solid playability. Its arcade like level of difficulty, rock solid collision detection and great sounds will keep you coming back for more. The sound of your bonus life is so close to arcade quality that every time I hear it, I am instantly taken back to circa 1980 and the days of playing this game in the arcades. I have no doubt that this cart could have helped sell more consoles, had it come out BITD.
Stop whatever you are doing and buy this game now!
David Seaman on 08/15/2015 12:53am
Tried this game for the 1st time at the Classic Game Fest in Austin and simply loved it. The tournament action on the big screen was great to display all the improvements made over the original. They took the standard Asteroids and added a few twists. My favorite part is a large Rock of Triangular shapes that break apart into ships that pursue you. The colors are fantastic, the sound quality better, yet holds true to the Arcade version with the mini saucers and controls. There are many different settings and levels of play that with keep you captivated for hours. It blew away all the other games like the new Donkey Kong versions and most of the prototypes. Probably the best home brew title that has been made for the 2600 this year.
Andreas W. on 07/28/2015 10:01pm
Absolut superb clone of Asteroids with lots of settings in the game-menü. Great fun to play. One of the best games on the system in my opinion !!!
Brook A. Anderson on 03/14/2015 03:48pm
ANY fan of Asteroids/Asteroids Deluxe should pick this one up! This really does feel like the arcade version of Asteroids in every way...and so many options. Love having the extra button on my 6 button Genesis pad for Hyperspace, Shield, 180° flip...

Multicolor is my favorite color setting but you can set it to Asteroids standard black.
Jeremy McDermott on 03/07/2015 11:08am
This game rocks! Asteroid rotation, particle explosions, asteroid directional movement, safe respawn with audible cue, asteroid inertia, thrust flames - it delivers beyond what I ever expected from a VCS game.

A quick demo to my spouse turned into an evening of coop play cycling through the many options from the great setup screen. She's not much of a gamer so I consider that a testament to the games's addictive quality.

The sheer number of flicker-free on-screen objects is impressive - a screen full of small asteroids with UFO and Magna-Mines in pursuit can be downright *frantic*. Highly recommended!
Erin Stearns on 05/31/2014 10:12am
What can I say other than WOW! I never enjoyed the 2600 release of Asteroids and always got my butt kicked in the arcade version but this one is a beauty. Not only is it true to the arcade it puts in several modes from other versions and even has multiple difficulty settings so I can work my way up.

My review isn't as long as the others but take it from me. if you like Asteroids even the slightest than you should buy this game! You have to love the artwork too, the alternate angle on the back of the box is really cool when it's in your hands and you are flipping it over.
Paul Young on 11/16/2013 11:22am
Ahh, 1981. Tom Petty blaring from the Sears 4-in-one stereo set, mid-summer Iowa sun beating down, ASTEROIDS humming on the 2600. But wait! Those aren't asteroids! They're... Lucky Charms marshmallows! And they float vertically with nary a waver (unless you can remember which game setting makes them drift ever so slightly)! And the triangular ship in the center of the screen looks droopy when pointed at an oblique angle! And it's PINK! My thirteen-year-old self was as disappointed as I was thrilled, or at least happily resigned, to accepting this for the definitive, brand-named ASTEROIDS adaptation it purported to be. Someday, I hoped, there would be something better.

Now there is. And it's still an Atari 2600 cart. And it plays like a 1980s dream of a VCS game that would give an arcade machine a run for its money, even as it allows me to indulge my (surprising) nostalgia for the multicolored marshmallows that floated across my parents' Magnavox CRT all those years ago. Not to mention the wacky little shield icon that looks like a kid's drawing of a mosquito bite and somehow lets matter pass through your ship while it remains intact. It surprises me how much I dig those holdovers from the original cart. I guess that proves that the Atari mystique was--and is--as much about the experience of the machine itself, and its relationship to its moment in the history of gaming and computing, as it is about the quality of the games, old or new. But make no mistake: the gameplay and relative depth of the game (which is not easy to manage considering the simplicity of the concept) are top-notch for this or any other classic system.

I am smitten with everything about this game: the choice I'm given between fruity treats and badass vectoresque space rocks, the opportunity to decide FOR MYSELF whether I want my asteroids to reflect all the colors of the rainbow or only the steely cold gray (or green, or blue) of (imaginary) outer space, the mutliplayer options, the beautifully designed options screen (beats having to flip through a manual to find the Game Options grid and then pull the SELECT lever 66 times to get where I want to be), even the sound effects, which are enough like both the arcade version and the good ol' 2600 adaptation to make me hear Tom Petty's "Woman In Love" in my head whenever I turn on the heavy sixer. And that's what one has a right to experience when playing any game on the Atari VCS.
Jeremy on 11/06/2013 01:33pm
No that is not my enthusiastic declaration of my admiration for the universe, it is the name of one of the latest and greatest homebrews for the Atari 2600 available at Atariage. The game comes in a very high quality and professional looking box with manual and even a spiffy little fridge magnet for posting your high scores for the whole family to see.
If you haven't guessed, Space Rocks is an updated port of Asteroids, but not just Asteroids as it incorporates aspects of it's sequel - Asteroids Deluxe. So why another version of Asteroids on the 2600? Well the original was a very good game for the time, in fact it is one of my favorites. However, some things just weren't done quite right, such as the asteroids moving in a predictible up and down pattern. Space Rocks corrects this by making the, well, space rocks move in a more chaotic and unpredictible manner. As well, you now have the option of giving the asteroids a more vector-like appearance, better mimicking the arcade original.
In fact one of the greatest things about Space Rocks is the amount of customisation that is available to you. When you turn on the game you are greated with a nice color menu chock full of options to play with such as:
one or two players - you can play head to head or co-op with both ships on the screen simultaneously - you can choose the aformentioned vector look for the asteroids or the traditional solid look of the 2600 original - there's even an option to choose from one of 16 different colors or play with a multi-colored theme - 4 difficulty levels from kids to easy, normal and hard - play with shields, hyperspace or 180 degree flip - you can turn friction on or off - set your score for obtaining bonus lives, if at all - choose joysticks or genesis style gamepads and finally turning on or off the asteroids deluxe style magna mines which appear toward the end of each level and break apart when shot and slowly converge on your ship.
So how does the game play - in a word - just fantastic - ok that's two words, well one word with a qualifier in front of it. At any rate, Space Rocks takes the original 2600 asteroids and improves on every aspect of it. The gameplay is more frenetic than the original the control is tight and responsive no matter what control scheme you choose, the graphics and animations are fantastic, as the explosion of your ship and asteroids will continue on the path they were travelling, the spinning ufo's giving them a more interesting look, or even the thrust your ships exhaust. The sound is similarly well done and very reminiscent of the original 2600 asteroids as well as new sound effects like the warble of your activated shields.
I can't rave about a game like Space Rocks enough. The games author, Darrel Spice Jr has created what i consider to be a pinnacle gaming experience within an already excellent homebrew scene for the atari 2600. This game has easily gained a premiere place in my atari collection, and it should be in yours as well. Space Rocks is everything an atari 2600 game should be and is a fantastic reason to revisit such a classic video gaming console. You can definitely say that space rocks, rocks.

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