The life of a space miner is a lonely, but simple one. With Earth's resources exhausted, a single miner is dispatched to cut ore from nearby asteroids and bring it back to a space station. It's not the most complex work, but it is complicated by the abundance of space pirates out there who want to capitalize on the player's endeavours. With their superior numbers and firepower it's a wonder why they don't just take up mining themselves, but it's not like they're open to talking about that when their ships show up, guns blazing. So, it's left to you to dodge pirate gunfire and bring that ore home in Asteroid Quarry, a game that, unfortunately, falls into tedium quickly through a lack of challenge or variety.

Asteroid Quarry dumps players in the void of space without so much as a title screen, giving a handful of instructions on mining and flight. Your ship has front and back thrusters, and you can use these to build momentum while guiding the ship with the control stick. The ship will only turn when it has some speed built up, which does add some nuance to aiming gunfire or flying after a tiny piece of ore. This control scheme also makes the fights with the pirates interesting as players need to circle around their opponent while avoiding their shots, only firing back when you're lined up with your enemy in just the right way. It's a simple but fun movement system that takes a little getting used to, but that adds complexity to the game.

Your weapons can be used to take out space pirates or to break down asteroids for their ore. The asteroids are large targets that sit still, making them easy pickings for the player's weaponry as well as a good means to practice shooting something with the game's odd movement style. You'll will want to do this, as the space pirates, while slow-moving, fire more than enough shots to take the player out quickly. Fighting back against them isn't easy, and if you clumsily stumble into a huge pack of them you won't live long.

You can easily turn the tables on the pirates if you lead them back to your space station, though. Not only will it fire dozens of shots back at your enemy, it's also immune to their gunfire and will heal your ship should you touch it. As there is an ever-present indicator that points out where this station is on the map, it soon became clear that luring pirates back to the space station was the best plan. Unfortunately, this also sucks out most of the challenge the game might have, as it never supplies more dangerous enemies or ones that aren't dumb enough to fly right into instant death at the hands of your mother ship.

Without much challenge from the enemies, most of the game's fun comes from seeing how much ore you can capture on a given map. As you shoot meteors pieces will break off, and only a handful of them are valuable. You have to hunt these pieces down as they hurtle away from broken asteroids, grabbing them by touching them with your ship. You have to be dead on target to pick these up, and with the added complexities of flight controls and the possibility you'll run into a group of pirates, it's easy to miss a lot of these. They'll disappear completely should they reach the edge of the game's play space, too, so striving to get them all does add some much-needed challenge.

Still, there is only so much fun to be had from shooting stationary asteroids and dragging pirate fleets to your base. While this game does draw inspiration from the original Asteroids, that game grew more complex and challenging over time, whereas Asteroid Quarry never gets any harder. All you can do is play the same map, with the asteroids laid out in different ways, but it never becomes more difficult or interesting than that. That's not unacceptable given the game's price, but it does mean it gets tired before so much as a half hour has passed; unless you're dying to collect all the ore, there's little reason to pick it up again.

Conclusion

Asteroid Quarry is a quick diversion, but little more. Flight controls make things interesting for a short time, but unless the player purposely hamstrings themselves by not using the space station's firepower, the game has little challenge to keep things going. With no difficulty curve and only a single map filled with dark space, unless you're dying to shoot at stationary asteroids, you'll quickly find little reason to continue playing Asteroid Quarry.