Outlaw (video game)

Outlaw is a single-player arcade game by Atari Inc., originally released in 1976. It simulates an Old West fast draw duel between the player and the computer.[4] Outlaw was a response to Gun Fight, released by Midway in North America the year before.[5][6]

Outlaw Arcade Flyer, 1976.jpg
Arcade flyer
Developer(s)Atari, Inc.
Programmer(s)David Crane (2600, Atari 8-bit)
Platform(s)Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit
Atari 2600
Atari 8-bit
  • NA: Summer 1981
Multiplayer (2600, Atari 8-bit)

Atari released ports of the game for the Atari 2600 console (then known as the Atari VCS) in 1978 and for the Atari 8-bit computers in 1981.


The game is housed in a custom cabinet that includes a light gun. The game PCB is composed of discrete technology, with game sprites stored in ROM. Playfield graphics are provided by a screen overlay representing an Old West town street.[4]


Players select one of two characters: Half-fast Pete or Billy-The-Kid. Pete is more accurate while Billy can draw faster. An outlaw appears somewhere in the town, the object being to fast draw your gun as soon as he draws his. Shooting him before he shoots you scores points, with points counting toward end-of-game ratings such as "Dude", "Greenhorn", and "Top Gun".[4]


Outlaw on the Atari 2600

An enhanced home video game console port was developed for the Atari VCS by then-Atari employee David Crane and released in 1978.[5] This version is more directly comparable to Midway's Gun Fight,[5] allowing two players to engage in a shoot-out using Atari CX40 joysticks. There are multiple modes that differ slightly from the arcade game, including target practice and versions with obstacles that must be shot around or shot through. There is also a multiplayer mode in which two players fight against each other.

Crane also developed Outlaw/Howitzer for the Atari 8-bit computers in 1979.[7] It is a two-in-one game, in which the player can choose to duel either as cowboys or tanks, the former game mode being similar in gameplay to the VCS version. Outlaw/Howitzer was made available for purchase through Atari Program Exchange in summer of 1981.[8]


Eric Thompson reviewed the Atari 2600 port of Outlaw in The Space Gamer No. 34.[9] Thompson commented that "This game is fun, and if you have the [Atari 2600] computer you should get it."[9]



  1. ^ a b Akagi, Masumi (13 October 2006). ナムコ Namco. アーケードTVゲームリスト 国内•海外編 (1971-2005) (in Japanese) (1st ed.). Amusement News Agency. p. 51. ISBN 978-4990251215.
  2. ^ "Production Numbers" (PDF). Atari. 1999.
  3. ^ "Outlaw (Registration Number PA0000174635)". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Outlaw Killer List of Video Games Entry". Retrieved 2007-12-27.
  5. ^ a b c "The Dot Eaters: Draw (those pixels)!". Archived from the original on 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
  6. ^ "1976: Coin-Op Business". Retrieved 2007-12-27.
  7. ^ "Outlaw / Howitzer". Atarimania. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  8. ^ "Outlaw/Howitzer". Entertainment. Atari Program Exchange Software Catalog. Summer 1981. p. 8. Retrieved 2020-11-07.
  9. ^ a b Thompson, Eric (December 1980). "Capsule Reviews". The Space Gamer. Steve Jackson Games (34): 35.
  10. ^ "Creative Computing (Better Scan) 1978 07". July 1978.