Megamania for the Atari 2600 – It’s Gonna Drive you Insane

Megamania for the Atari 2600 – It’s Gonna Drive you Insane

“You got to shoot to survive, you got to run to stay alive…” If those lyrics are familiar to you then you have probably already seen this commercial for the Atari 2600 classic Megamania. If you haven’t, you are in for a treat. Its a great commercial featuring the San Francisco based theater rock band, The Tubes and with its manic energy, flashy graphics, and catchy yet predictable lyrics, it just scream the 1980s. It is just awesome!

The game itself was designed by the mighty Steve Cartwright and was a fave at the Retroist household. My cousin Nick and I would marathon this on weekends and when I say marathon, I mean it. We would start on a Saturday morning and would need to be forced off the game at dinner time.

The whole idea of this game is that it was an ongoing and non-stop version of Space Invaders. Of course, instead of Space Ships/Monsters you would shoot at everyday objects that did not look like those objects i.e. hamburgers and bow ties. Check out this screenshot of a hamburger level.

Just like a hamburger, huh?

Megamania, like many Activision games, allowed you to win a patch. To become a Megamaniac you needed to score 45,000 points and send Activision a photo of your score.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Drahken

    I got this, along with some other games, with a used 2600 from a friend of a friend years ago. It was definitely one of my favorite games of the pack. This and asteroids were the ones that I kept coming back to play over & over.

  2. vinvectrex

    I read somewhere that this game was originally designed to be a Star Trek tie in (note the spaceship’s similarity to the Enterprise). I have no idea if that was true or not. As a fan of the Tubes’ “She’s a Beauty”, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they did this commercial.

  3. VicSage

    I can certainly see the similarity to the USS Enterprise, Vinvectrex. This is one of the Activision titles that I tried SO hard to secure the badge for…I mean I tried with all of them…but I would spend hours trying to accomplish that goal during Summer Break.

    Never happened. Sigh.

  4. Drahken

    The very first time I played this, I wondered at the presence of the enterprise. For a while I thought it was some obscure tie-in, then I decided that it couldn’t be an official trek related game & wondered how they got away with using the enterprise.

    I was never aware of any high score contests/badges. I did have 2 activision games back in the day, fishing derby & laser blast, but I never saw anything about badges/contests for either of them. (The laser blast one would be easy to get these days. When I was a kid I think the farthest I ever got was level 6, but now I can play it endlessly, boredom is the only thing that brings it to an end.)

  5. David Lovejoy

    As I recall this game stopped at 169,900 points. Don’t know why I remember this, but I worked for 1 solid week to beat Megamania and several years later I had an opportunity to play it again on a classic Atari 2600 and the old skills came back right away!

  6. Atari Adventure Square

    That tune is a perfect fit for the manic excitement I had when playing this thrilling alien fast-food-attack mission.
    I now yearn for a rockin’ theme for *all* my Atari 2600 games!
    (Atari Golf can have soft piano – Casino should be some 007 thing)

    When I got this, I was doubly into it because a local grease pit had the similar Astro Blaster.

    I would spend quarters trying to destroy the oncoming saucers as they wrapped-around the screen and closed in, while my fuel (and pocket change) ran out.
    Then, I’d come home and shoot the burgers I’d been smelling in a home-clone setting, merrily freeplaying til’ the ever-faster tumbling dice did me in.

    Megamania is a top ten contender, for sure.

Leave a Reply to Drahken Cancel reply