Jet Fighter by Atari

The NW Pinball and Arcade Show went really well this year I still haven’t heard anything official but it appeared even busier than last year. I also got to meet mwentworth there. Unfortunately we didn’t get to hang out too long but it was nice to meet him and his son. Now that my games are all home and back in their spots I thought I get back to writing about them.

Jet Fighter was released in October of 1975 under both the Atari name and under its subsidiary Kee Games. The game can be played single player with a game controlled opponent, which was pretty uncommon for games at the time, or you can play against someone in a two player game. The game is housed in an upright cabinet with a removable marquee. The thought was that removing the marquee made it a little classier and would in turn fit into more locations. I have read documentation stating there was also a cocktail version of the game made a couple months later but I have never seen nor heard of an actual example of it so I don’t know for certain if it ever came to be. The joysticks on the game kind of resemble an old style flight stick with a red firing button on top.

The objective in this game is to fire as many shells as you can into the opponent’s plane, while at the same time maneuvering your own plane to avoid being hit yourself. Your plane can only fire one shell at a time and the shell explodes after it hits a plane for which you receive a point or after it travels about ¾ of the screen. If a plane is hit it will flash, spin around for a couple seconds then fly off in some random direction. The screen wraps around so if a bullet or plane flies off the screen it will appear on the other side. This is a timed game and ends when the game timer elapses and the player with the most points wins.

I really like the way the planes move and react to the controls also the jet engine sound effects are quite good in my opinion. I really hope that both of these come through in the video.

Jet Fighter is another one that will be hard to find out there unfortunately. It did not use a microprocessor so it is not found in MAME or other emulators. There was a port of the game included on the Combat cartridge for the Atari VCS/2600. The game play is not as smooth as the arcade but it is still a lot of fun to play.


I'm a kid of the 70's and 80's. Grew up on Saturday morning cartoons, Atari and Music Videos. My current hobby is repairing arcade games, mostly from the 70's and trying to find space to put them.

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9 thoughts on “Jet Fighter by Atari

  1. Jet Fighter is a really fun game. I was actually just playing the 2600 Combat cartridge version last night.

    As for you meeting mwentworth, he’s a pretty nifty guy. He on occasion will make a rock star appearance at our monthly Commodore Computer Club meetings. Just saying if you’d like to hang out with him and other retro gamers from in the Pacific Northwest on a regular basis :)

    /end shameless plug for Commodore Computer Club and User Group

  2. mwentworth says:

    Blinddog, the thing I thought was interesting about Jet Fighter was, while I am sure it doesn’t have AI as we know it, it felt like it did. The first few games, I got my butt handed to me. Another machine I had never seen before; thanks again for bring these B&W beauties to the show.

  3. mwentworth says:

    And yes, if you ever are in our area the first Friday of the month, join the fun at the CCC meeting. Lots of different gaming and computing systems abound……

  4. blinddog says:

    @Mwentworth – Considering that the game doesn’t use a microprocessor, I was really impressed at how well the enemy pilot plays. There were some smart people make these games.

    @ CCC I’ll have to make it down for a meeting sometime, sounds interesting. I do plan to be in Portland for the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in September

  5. mwentworth says:

    I would love to see inside of that cab; I love the sheer abundance of medium-tech inside of a Computer Space cab, is this similar?

  6. Blinddog, thank you for making another amazing post! I really do mean it when I say I look forward to these so much. Now this is an arcade title that I actually did play in my youth, your video brought back some good memories, my friend. :)

  7. Rich Gott says:

    Great post. I’ve never seen one (that I remember), and I wish I knew if one was sitting somewhere in the wild out in my neck of the woods.

  8. Atari Adventure Square says:

    I know I’m hooked on old cabinet play when I watch your vids and get caught up in the gameplay like this one.
    Great turnaround on the AI’s part.

    This title reminds me why I loved Atari’s Combat so much, with its simplistic but varied and thrilling gameplay (in two-player situations).
    I gotta convince my old gaming buddy to go for another round of that one.
    His PS3 and 360 gamer kids will probably think we’re nuts.

    Keep ’em coming, blinddog!

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