Slot Machine (video game)

Slot Machine is a 1979 video game written by David Crane for the Atari VCS (renamed to the Atari 2600 in 1982) and published by Atari, Inc.[2][1] Along with Star Ship and Miniature Golf, it was one of the first Atari VCS games to be discontinued.[3]

Slot Machine
Front cartridge cover for Slot Machine.jpeg
Cover art by John Enright[1]
Developer(s)Atari, Inc.
Publisher(s)Atari, Inc.
Programmer(s)David Crane
Genre(s)Slot machine
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer


Gameplay screenshot

The game has one-player and two-player modes. Gameplay options include Jackpot and Payoff modes. The game continues until the player runs out of tokens.[4]


The game was written by David Crane, who went on to develop Pitfall!. Crane developed the game for his mother, who was a lover of slot-machine games.[5][6] Programming the game to represent the different symbols of a traditional fruit-machine proved difficult given that the Atari 2600 could only render 8 monochrome pixels for each sprite, so Crane made use of differing shapes that were easily distinguishable, such as cacti.[7]


In a July 1983 review in Electronic Games magazine, Joyce Worley and Tracie Forman described the graphics as "workman-like if unspectacular".[4]

A December 2000 review of the game in Classic Gamer Magazine written by Leonard Herman was highly critical of the game, including it in a list of games that he "loved to hate" and criticising the lack of tension in the gameplay and the poor graphics.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Lapetino, Tim (26 October 2016). Art of Atari (Deluxe). Dynamite Entertainment. p. 104. ISBN 9781524101060. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  2. ^ Weiss, Bret (20 December 2011). Classic Home Video Games, 1972–1984 A Complete Reference Guide. McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers. p. 105. ISBN 9780786487554. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b Herman, Leonard (December 2000). "Games We Love To Hate". Classic Gamer Magazine. No. 5. p. 13. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b Worley, Joyce; Forman, Tracie (July 1983). "Video Casino". Electronic Games. No. 17. Reese Communications. p. 98. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  5. ^ Dave (17 November 2018). "Exclusive Interview with Activision Founder David Crane!". Retro Injection. Retrieved 27 February 2021. My mother was the typical little old lady who liked to play slot machines when in Vegas, so I made Slot Machine for her to play at home.
  6. ^ "In the chair with... David Crane". Retro Gamer UK. No. 79. p. 89. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  7. ^ Montfort, Nick; Bogost, Ian (2009). Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. The MIT Press. pp. 99, 108. ISBN 9780262012577. Retrieved 27 February 2021.