Superman (Atari 2600)

  (Redirected from Superman (1979 video game))

Superman is an action adventure game for the Atari Video Computer System (later the Atari 2600) designed by John Dunn and published by Atari, Inc. in 1979.[5][1] It was one of the first single-player games for the system and one of the earliest licensed video games, released to be a tie-in with the 1978 film of the same name.[6] Superman was built using the prototype code for Warren Robinett's Adventure, and ended up being published before Adventure was finished.[7] Retro Gamer credits it among action-adventure games as the "first to utilize multiple screens as playing area".[4]

Developer(s)Atari, Inc.
Publisher(s)Atari, Inc.
Designer(s)John Dunn[2]
Platform(s)Atari 2600


Superman flying over the city

The player(s) takes control of the DC Comics character Superman, who must repair the bridge destroyed by Lex Luthor, capture Luthor and his criminal underlings, enter a phonebooth to turn back into Clark Kent, then return to the Daily Planet in the shortest possible time. To slow Superman's progress, Kryptonite has been released by Luthor. If hit by Kryptonite, Superman loses his abilities to capture criminals and fly. To regain them, he must find and kiss Lois Lane.

Three of Superman's powers are used in this game: strength, X-ray vision, and flight.

The game can be played with two players. The player using the left joystick controller has priority over the left and right movement of Superman, while the player using the right controller has priority over up and down movement of Superman.

Superman is one of the earliest console games with a pause option.[8] It is activated by pressing the Select switch.


Superman was reviewed in April 1980 by Video in its "Arcade Alley" column where it was highly praised as "usher[ing] in an exciting new era for home arcades". The reviewers suggested that "put simply, there's no other video game remotely similar to this one", comparing the graphics and gameplay as akin to "the complex simulations that have entertained computer freaks for the last decade or so". The game was predicted to be a hit among the "true arcade addicts" and to find a place in the "Video Arcade Hall of Fame".[9]: 18  Covered again in Video's 1982 Guide to Electronic Games, Superman was praised for "surprisingly good graphics".[10]: 52 

Norman Howe reviewed Superman in The Space Gamer No. 31.[11] Howe commented that "this is the best Atari game I have seen yet. It's playable, enthralling, and has excellent graphics. If you don't want to buy the game, at least try to find someone who will let you play it. It's very good."[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Hanson, Christopher (2012). Mark J. P. Wolf (ed.). Encyclopedia of Video Games: The Culture, Technology, and Art of Gaming Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-313-37936-9.
  2. ^ Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  3. ^ Weiss, Brett. Classic Home Video Games, 1972–1984: A Complete Reference Guide. McFarland & Co. p. 119.
  4. ^ a b Mozejko, Michal (April 16, 2009). "Superman". Retro Gamer. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  5. ^ Wolf, Mark J. P. (2008). The Video Game Explosion: A History from PONG to Playstation and Beyond. ABC-CLIO. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-313-33868-7.
  6. ^ Guinness World Records 2018: Gamer's Edition. Guinness World Records. September 18, 2017. p. 112. ISBN 978-1-912286-22-5.
  7. ^ Machkovech, Sam (March 14, 2015). "Atari devs dissect Yars' Revenge, Adventure, Atari's woes". Ars Technica.
  8. ^ Miller, Skyler. "Superman - Review - allgame". Allgame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  9. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Laney, Frank (April 1980). "Arcade Alley: Faster Than A Bullet - Atari's Super Game". Video magazine. Reese Communications: 18, 76, and 77. ISSN 0147-8907.
  10. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (November 1982). "Video's Guide to Electronic Games". Video magazine. Reese Communications. 6 (8): 47–56, 108. ISSN 0147-8907.
  11. ^ a b Howe, Norman (September 1980). "Capsule Reviews". The Space Gamer. Steve Jackson Games (31): 29.

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