Gremlins (video game)

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Gremlins (Atari 2600) gameplay screenshot 1.png
Gameplay screenshot
Developer(s) Atari
Publisher(s) Atari
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release 1984
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) 1 or 2 players

Gremlins is a 1984 video game developed and published by Atari for the Atari 2600 system.[1][2] It is a tie-in to the 1984 film Gremlins. Atari released another, substantially different game based on the film for the Atari 5200.[3]


Gremlins, directed by Joe Dante, was the center of a major merchandising push in the months surrounding its release. Atari developed video game tie-ins for both of its contemporary consoles, the Atari 2600 and the Atari 5200. Though both were produced by the same company and were based on the same film, differences in the two consoles resulted in two considerably different games. Atari intended to release both along with the film in 1984, but the company stopped shipment of all its games after its reorganization that year.[4] Atari first previewed the 2600 version of the game at the 1984 Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago;[5] it was released in limited numbers later that year, and became moderately rare.[4] The 5200 version did not receive its release until 1986.[3]

The 2600 version consists of two playable screens derived from video game styles popular at the time. The game can be played by one player, or two players alternating turns. The first screen is similar to the 1981 game Kaboom. The player controls protagonist Billy Peltzer, who runs side-to-side across the screen catching falling Mogwai to prevent them from eating hamburgers. In the second screen, similar to Space Invaders, the player moves Billy back and forth across the screen and shoots waves of descending gremlins.[6]


  1. ^ "Gremlins". GameFAQs. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ Einhorn, Ethan (November 1, 2003). "History of horror games: With Halloween upon us, we've decided to take a look at horror's history in videogames". GameNOW. p. 86. 
  3. ^ a b Weiss, p. 139.
  4. ^ a b Edward J. Semrad (August 31, 1985). "You might have a rare game in your collection". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  5. ^ Mace, Scott (July 9, 1984). "Games Exhibit Innovations". InfoWorld. pp. 35, 37. Retrieved March 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ Weiss, p. 67.