Atari 2600 Megamania box artwork autographed by Steve Cartwright
|Release date(s)||Atari 2600
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Megamania is an Atari 2600 game designed by Steve Cartwright and published by Activision in 1982. It took about six months to develop the concept, and another three months to fine-tune the game. It was later released for the Atari 5200 and Atari 8-bit family in 1983, ported by Glyn Anderson. The Atari 2600 version was also bundled in with the Activision Anthology release in 2002.
In Megamania, the gameplay resembles that of Space Invaders. Rather than being aliens or spaceships, however, the enemies in this game are various objects such as hamburgers, bow ties, and steam irons. The object is to shoot them down before the energy bar at the bottom of screen is depleted, all while avoiding the oncoming enemies and their own projectile attacks. Each of the enemies fly in select patterns and as soon as they hit the bottom of the screen, they re-appear at the top until shot by the player. The player's spacecraft depicted in the game is a cross between the U.S.S. Enterprise and Klingon battlecruiser from the Star Trek universe.
Gameplay-wise and in terms of graphics, MegaMania bears a very strong resemblance to Sega's 1981 arcade title "Astro Blaster". Both games feature nearly identical patterns of approaching enemies with the player relying on an "energy" meter. Also, the player's ship bears a remarkable similarity in both games.
When Megamania was originally sold, anyone who scored above 45,000 points could send Activision a picture of their screen and become an official Megamaniac. They also would receive an Official Megamaniac emblem.
If a player exceeds a score of 999,999 the game ends.
The lyrics and commercial are:
- Activision presents Megamania,
- A new video game for your Atari video computer system!
- 1, 2, 3, 4!!
- Mega! Megamania. Megamania!!
- It's gonna drive you insane.
- You've got to shoot to survive,
- you've got to run to stay alive!
- You may regret it,
- the day you get it -
- it's never gonna let you alone!
- Megamania is a video nightmare,
- Because it's impossible to stop!
- Designed by Steve Cartwright!
- For Activision!
2600 vs. 5200
Megamania was released for both the Atari 2600 and Atari 5200. They both included the same general gameplay, but the 5200 boasted some differences as listed.
- There is a title screen at the beginning of the game.
- The enemies are more detailed and most use a combination of colors instead of just one.
- The names of three of the enemies (as listed in the manual) have been changed. This may be due to the increase in graphical detail. There are "ice cream sandwiches" instead of "cookies," "refrigerator magnets" instead of "bugs," and "diamond rings" instead of "diamonds."
The Atari 8-bit family version was the same as the Atari 5200 version.
Notes and References
- "Megamania User Manual for Atari 2600". Atari Age.
- "Megamania profile". Atari Age.
- "Megamania television commercial". YouTube.
- "Megamania Atari 5200 manual page". Atari Age.
- "Megamania Atari Mania page". Atari Mania.
- Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (February 1983). "Arcade Alley: The Fourth Annual Arcade Awards". Video (Reese Communications) 6 (11): 30, 108. ISSN 0147-8907.