Exidy’s Chiller (1986)

Lots of people who hung out in arcades back in the 1980s have fond memories of the classic shooter Crossbow, but few people seem to remember its more obscure cousin: Chiller.

Unlike Crossbow (where the object was to protect your band of adventurers), the point of 1986’s Chiller was to torture people and shoot things like decapitated heads and mummies and black cats. For what it’s worth, many of the background objects were interactive as well. For example, by shooting the stretching rack you could rip people in two. As you may have suspected, Chiller was released a few years before video game ratings were invented.


As you might imagine, Chiller sold poorly in the United States and some countries (like the UK) outright banned it. Despite overall poor sales, Chiller was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990 with a few slight modifications (the nudity was removed, for example). It didn’t sell too well, either.


Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

Latest posts by Rob O'Hara (see all)

Never Miss an Episode

Stay up-to-date on the latest from the Retroist Podcast. Sign up and receive email notifications when there's a new episode of the Retroist Podcast or when we launch new podcasts.
* indicates required

8 thoughts on “Exidy’s Chiller (1986)

  1. I’ve never heard of this, but it’s awesome. I’d like to parade this people who think somehow our current times have depraved video games. They’ve ALWAYS been around.

  2. I remember playing this but I think it was on my C=64 or Amiga and not in the arcade…or maybe it was. ’86 was a looong time ago!

  3. what a coincidence, I’m going to be covering this game on my podcast, InRetroSpection, as part of the Halloween special:)

    btw, I think this game is hilariously disturbing

  4. vinvectrex says:

    I’ve played my fair share of current generation games that feature a lot of gore. Yet, somehow this one disturbs me more. Perhaps it’s the shooting of the chained up prisoners. Awful looking game – great bit of history!

  5. Atari Adventure Square says:

    This was one of the weirdest arcade experiences.
    Playing it in a mall the first time, I marvelled at its disgusting outrageousness, as it was a time I was discovering the marvelously disgusting outrageousness of gory Italian horror films of the 80s.
    But my dad ended up looking over my shoulder as he had come back from the bookstore early, and every shot fired became more embarrassing.

    The next time I went back to that arcade, about a month or two later, it was gone.
    But not forgotten.

    Great post, Flack!
    Like Patrick said, it’s good to have this video to prove this game actually existed.

  6. Wow…I’ve never seen this game before…it does disturb me but I’m glad I have the knowledge of it just the same. Thanks, Flack!

  7. Patrick Walters says:

    In 1987 I worked in a mall movie theater in Florida. Across from the theater was an arcade and I spent many hours in that arcade playing this game.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.