Sky Diver cartridge and instructions

Skydiver was originally an arcade game by Atari. Sky Diver was the Atari 2600 home port of the game. The objective of the game is to jump off of a plane and land on a specific target while scoring as many points as possible. It was released in 1979 by Atari and distributed by Atari and Sears (see Trivia)


The game is for one or two players, as two planes, one for each player, automatically appear whether there are two players involved or not during a game.

Each player has a specific plane to jump out of and land on a target; player one is assigned to the plane on the left, while player two has the right plane. The object is to launch a sky diver and land them on their corresponding pad for maximum points. The longer the diver waits to deploy their chute, the more points they will score. If the diver instantly opens their chute the moment they launch from their plane, they will not score any points, even if they land squarely on the pad (as both of the sky diver's feet have to be touching the pad in order to score points). If a diver waits too long, their chute will not open and they will lose four points when they crash onto the ground. The maximum a diver can score during a round is 11 points, with a highest score of 99 possible.

Wind plays a factor during several of the games, which is determined by the wind sock at the bottom center of the screen. If the sock is pointing entirely in one direction, it is a strong wind; if the sock is hanging loosely, there is little wind, and if the sock is not visible, there is no wind at all. (It is a good strategy for the player[s] to wait until the right time to jump depending on the wind conditions, if they are going with or against the wind during a jump, they should plan accordingly.)

Game variations and difficulty levelsEdit

Game 1 is the regular game, and game 2 is the same, although with smaller landing pads. Game 3 is the same as game 1, and game 4 is the same as game 2, although the landing pads move. There is no wind in these variations. Game 5 is the "chicken" variation, with only one landing pad in the center, which the first person to land on the pad gets the points. The planes fly fast in this variation.

With the Difficulty Switch in the A position, a player's plane will fly fast, except for game 5, which it has no effect then.


  • When the game was originally released in the arcade, it was spelled as "Skydiver", as one word. It became two words upon its home release.
  • Atari had an agreement with the Sears chain of department stores in the 1970s (as did many companies) where the Sears name had to appear on Atari games. This resulted in some games being renamed and/or having different box covers. The Sears equivalent of Sky Diver was Dare Diver, being the exact same game, but with a slightly different name.
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