Atari 2600 cartridge

At the time of its release, Megamania was one of the very few bottom of the screen shooters for the Atari 2600 where objects that the player(s) had to shoot down had their attack patterns change with every new enemy that was introduced. And rather than the common sci-fi theme where players faced aliens and/or spaceships, a more whimsical route was taken this time around, as players faced the everyday items of Hamburgers, Bow Ties, Steam Irons, etc. instead. The game was created and released by Activision in 1982.

The game was ported to the Atari 8-bit and Atari 5200 platforms, along with being included in many compilations on various additional modern platforms years later.

Releases, originalEdit

Atari 2600 version/gameplayEdit

Players controlled a mobile blaster at the bottom of the screen as enemy objects appeared overhead. Their attack patterns varied, as many objects would horizontally scroll from the left to the right side of the screen, although with every other wave, other objects (such as Cookies) would travel horizontally for a few seconds, then dip down closer to the player’s(/s’) blaster(s) and reverse direction. Also, if not all of these objects were destroyed by the time they reached the bottom of the screen, they would reappear at the top (which this act was known as the “MegaSphere”).

Once players faced all enemy objects and made it past the final wave of Space Dice, the game would start back over at the first wave (which was known as a “MegaCycle”), but at a higher level of difficulty, as attack patterns would change, such as the Hamburgers would start pausing during a wave, then move across the screen at a faster rate for a second or two, rather than just scrolling across the screen horizontally without stopping as they did originally. Other enemies that moved downwards from the top of the screen (like the aforementioned Cookies) would dive down this time around, Space Dice would no longer travel straight down vertically any more, but at about a 45 degree angle, etc. And if players could make it through the MegaCycle a second time, dive-bombing enemies began traveling even faster towards the bottom of the screen, along with their shots moving faster as well.

Players also had an energy bar that would constantly drain during a wave, which, if the bar became totally depleted, the player would lose that mobile blaster. Successfully completing a wave would recharge the bar though. If a player’s(s’) blaster came in contact with any enemy or their missiles they would also lose a blaster and the game would end if there were no remaining blasters in reserve.

Game/fire variationsEdit

Games 1-2 allows players to guide missiles after they have been fired, which game two is for two players alternating turns. Games 3-4 allows players to fire straight missiles (with game four being for two players), although players have to press the controller button every time they want to shoot, as holding down the button to fire does not work in these variations as they do for games 1-2.

The players’ firing rate can also be slowed down by setting the Difficulty Switch(es) in the A position.


  • Move ship–Joystick (left/right only)
  • Steer missile–Joystick (games 1-2)
  • Fire–button

Atari 5200 versionEdit

This is pretty much the same as the Atari 2600 version, although this and the Atari 8-bit versions had improved graphics (objects are much easier to tell what they are, along with being in several colors, rather than just one). Some of the objects were renamed and an alarm now sounds when a player’s blaster is low on energy (which was not on the original). Both versions were released in 1983.


  • Move ship–Joystick (left/right only)
  • Fire–Lower button
  • Pause–Pause button

Atari 8-bit versionEdit

This is reportedly the same as the Atari 5200 version.


  • Move ship–Joystick (left/right only)
  • Fire–button?

Re-releases, later platformsEdit

Megamania appeared on the Activision Anthology compilation for most of the following platforms.


Game Boy AdvanceEdit

The Atari 2600 version is pretty closely emulated.


  • Move ship–D-pad
  • Fire–A button
  • Pause game–Start button




(On Activision Anthology Remix compilation)


(On Activision Anthology Remix)

PlayStation 2Edit

PlayStation PortableEdit

(On Activision Hits: Remixed compilation)


  • The full title of the game is Megamania (A Space Nightmare).
  • Megamania programmer Steve Cartwright was reportedly influenced by Astro Blaster.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.