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Megamania - 2600 - USA.jpg

Atari 2600 - USA - 1st edition.

Developer Activision
Publisher Activision
Published 1982-??-??
Platforms Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit
Genres Action, Fixed shooter, Shooter, Single-screen
Themes Science Fiction
Multiplayer Alternating versus
Distribution Commercial

Megamania is a fixed shooter programmed by Steve Cartwright and published by Activision in 1982 on the Atari 2600, and in 1983 on the Atari 5200 and Atari 8-bit computers. The game borrows heavily from Astro Blaster.

The game's manual describes the game play as part of a nightmare where strange objects fall at you from space and must be destroyed.


Own?Yes. Atari 2600 loose cartridge.
Won?No. This game doesn't end, but the score stops counting at 999,999.

I first played the game as one of the many games in a used collection of Atari game my parents bought us kids at a garage sale. It quickly became one of my favorite Atari 2600 games, and certainly my favorite of the single-screen space shooter genre. I even programmed my own version of the game in QuickBASIC.

My highest score is 111,920, well beyond the score of 45,000 needed to earn the Activision Megamaniacs patch, but a far cry from when the game stops counting at 999,999.


Video Game Review Icon - Enjoyment.png Video Game Review Icon - Control.png Video Game Review Icon - Appearance.png Video Game Review Icon - Sound.png Video Game Review Icon - Replayability.png
5 5 3 2 3

Best Version: Atari 8-bit

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • Despite the Atari 2600's memory restrictions, Cartwright packed a lot of variation into the enemies. Their movement patterns vary, they look different, and each have several variations.
  • Even though the ship designs repeat, the palette shifts and the enemy ships adopt new movement patterns in subsequent waves giving the game more variety. Also, in the third loop, the enemy bombs drop faster making it even harder.
  • Being able to control the ship's gun in different ways was a nice addition.
  • The game has really nice sound for a 2600 game.


  • Due to the extreme limits of the Atari 2600, the game is unfortunately too repetitive.
  • Although the enemies all have different movement patterns, they're really all just variations on a theme.
  • Because it's so derivative of Astro Blaster, it's hard to look at it and not see what it's lacking from the original.


  • Nothing.


Box Art




Longplay (max score).

Play Online

Atari 2600


Strong female character?FailThere don't appear to be any women.
Bechdel test?FailThere don't appear to be any women.
Strong person of color character?FailNo race is described.
Queer character?FailThere don't appear to be any queer characters.


Port Released Porter Publisher Notes
Atari 2600 1982-??-?? Activision Activision Original release.
Atari 5200 1983-??-?? Activision Activision More detailed graphics and additional sound effects.
Atari 8-bit 1983-??-?? Activision Activision Nearly identical to the 5200 port.


Role Staff
Entire Game Steve Cartwright


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