Outlaw (Atari 2600)

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Outlaw - 2600 - USA.jpg

Atari 2600 - USA - 1st edition.

Developer Atari
Publisher Atari
Published 1978-??-??
Platforms Atari 2600
Genres Action, Fixed shooter, Shooter, Single-screen
Themes Action, Western
Multiplayer Simultaneous versus
Distribution Commercial

Outlaw is a fixed shooter developed by David Crane and published by Atari in 1978 for the Atari 2600. The game is highly derivative of Gun Fight and its US port, Boot Hill.

In the game, players control outlaw cowboys engaged in a stand off. Each player is trying to shoot their opponent's character without getting their own character shot. Whichever player hits their opponent's character the most in the allotted time is the winner. There are several game modes which add obstacles like cacti and moving stage coaches, as well as ricocheting bullets. There is also a single-player mode where you're trying to hit a moving target before time runs out.


Won?Yes. Target modes 13-16.

My family had this game for our Atari 2600 around 1986. At the time, I had no idea it was a remake of other games, and I just enjoyed playing it with my family members. I do not own the game anymore, but I have "beat" the game by making 10 hits on the targets in modes 13-16.


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Best Version: Atari 2600

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • Like many early Atari games, it had several different modes which gives the game a bit of replay value.
  • Having a single-player mode was really nice, and uncommon for games of this style.
  • The various obstacles (stage coach and cactus) are thematic to the setting.


  • There is no way to handicap a player who is objectively better than another.
  • It's trivial to get 10 hits in the target modes within 99 seconds, even by just mashing the fire button. Doubling the amount would be a more realistic goal.


  • The primitive concept and limited hardware of the Atari means there just isn't enough depth in the game to prevent it from becoming boring quite quickly.


Box Art

This art was used in all regions with only minor changes in the layout between North America and Europe. The attractive collage was painted by John Enright and uses a promotional photo from The Outlaw Josie Wales as the basis of the most prominent gunslinger. In typical Atari fashion, the cover promises far more than what the game can deliver.



Game play.

Play Online

Atari 2600


Strong female character?FailThere are no women.
Bechdel test?FailThere is no dialogue.
Strong person of color character?FailAlthough race isn't clear, the box art shows everyone being white.
Queer character?FailThere are no queer characters.


Manuel Rotschkar has disassembled and commented the source code of Outlaw.


Role Staff
Designer David Crane
Programmer David Crane
Box Art John Enright (as Enright)


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (North American) Outlaw
English (Sears release) Gunslinger


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