Happy Atari Day! ‘Tis The Season To Play Gremlins!

While another December 25th has come and gone and some of you will be packing up the Family to brave the department stores for exchanges and ways to use those gift cards you collected this Holiday…it also means today is the 26th which is of course a chance to celebrate all things Atari!

What better way to do that than taking a look at a game that is just perfect for this Holiday Season? Atari’s Gremlins!

All images courtesy of AtariAge.Com
All images courtesy of AtariAge.Com

With the success and popularity of the 1984 film it stood to reason that a home video game would be developed for the Atari 2600 but an entirely different game was created for the superior Atari 5200 and Atari 800 home computer.

With the 2600 version of the game you had two different styles of play. The first screen tasked the player with controlling Billy Peltzer with a joystick in catching naughty Mogwai that were attempting to jump off the Peltzer’s roof to get at the delicious hamburgers below…of course if Billy fails to catch them they will eat the food and begin to cocoon. If you fail to catch eight of the Mogwai the level changes to a shooting stage, where Billy must dispatch rushing Gremlins!

Silkie’s Arcade

The Atari 5200 and 800 home computer version is quite a bit more advanced. Billy must try to collect and corral wandering Mogwai before they are able to get their paws on the various pieces of food laying about and transform into Gremlins. Billy can pick up the food but he also has to worry about the puddles of water which will cause the beasties to multiply. Thankfully our hero can defend himself against the dangerous Gremlins with his sword, remember the decoration that kept falling off the wall when the Peltzer’s shut the front door?

He can also use a TV if it’s present in the level to stop the Gremlins and Mogwai from wandering around while they take a moment and watch it! Billy has to either clear out the Gremlins in a level, rescuing the Mogwai for bonus points or wait until night has passed and the clock reaches 6AM.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.
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