Football (1978 video game)

  (Redirected from Atari Football)

Football (also known as Atari Football) is a 2-player 1978 arcade and Atari 2600 console-game.[2] It was developed and published by Atari, Inc.. In this game, the sport of American football is emulated, with players represented by Xs and Os. The game was one of the most popular arcade games in its day.[citation needed] In 1979, Atari released a more challenging four-player version of the arcade game programmed by Dave Theurer, the creator of Missile Command and Tempest.

Atari Football Poster.png
Atari Football arcade flyer.
Developer(s)Atari, Inc.
Publisher(s)Atari, Inc.
Designer(s)Steve Bristow
Platform(s)Arcade, Atari 2600
Genre(s)Sports (American football)
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
SoundAmplified mono


Arcade versionEdit

Although not the first trackball game (the first was Soccer by Taito in 1973), Atari Football was the game that is credited with popularizing the trackball. Considered physically exhausting to play, Atari Football involves spinning the trackball as fast as possible to win the game. Just 90 seconds of play could result in sore palms, and longer could cause blisters. Nevertheless, Atari Football was as popular as Space Invaders during the 1978 football season, but its popularity waned later on.[citation needed] Atari Football is sometimes credited as one of the first games to accurately emulate sports. Twenty-five cents (or one American quarter) would allow 90 seconds of playtime, while adding more quarters would allow longer play. It was also the first non-racing video game with vertical scrolling.[3]

Console versionEdit

On the Atari VCS/2600 the game consisted of two teams of green and white players, each of four men, playing against each other. In a first game-option, before each play the player can select a formation, and then during each play the player controls their movement as a unit using the joystick controller. In a second game option, the player only chooses the formation with the play being carried out automatically according to a pre-selected plan. A third game-option is similar to the second except that the user may kick or punt at any time.[4]


In his October 1978 review of the Atari VCS version of the game in Creative Computing, David H. Ahl gave the game a positive review. He praised particularly the gameplay which he described as "boast[ing] lively action".[4]

See alsoEdit

  • Cyberball - 1988 American football game from Atari


  1. ^ "Production Numbers" (PDF). Atari. 1999. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  2. ^ "Atari Football - Overview". allgame. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  3. ^ Words: GamesRadar US on October 8, 2010 (2010-10-08). "Gaming's most important evolutions". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
  4. ^ a b Ahl, David H. (October 1979). "Atari Video Computer Cartridges - Football". Creative Computing. 5 (10): 38. Retrieved 4 September 2019.

External linksEdit