Play Atari 2600 Video Games Online

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The Atari 2600 was first released in North America in September 1977 and featured 9 launch titles: Air-Sea BattleBasic MathBlackjackCombatIndy 500Star ShipStreet RacerSurround and Video Olympics. The final licensed Atari 2600 game released in North America was Secret Quest in 1989, and the final licensed game released in Europe was Klax and Acid Drop in 1990 and 1992. Even with their 1980s limited colors and block graphics these games are still entertaining to play today! We have over 500 Atari 2600 games for you to play online for free using our Atari 2600 Javascript Emulator.

This game is mobile device friendly and Iphone compatible. Enjoy!

Instructions and Keyboard Controls towards bottom of page.
Click “Game Reset” or F12 to Start Game


If you grew up in the 80’s you shouldn’t need instructions!! You might find some help at and look up the game you need assistance playing.

Click “Game Reset” or F12 to Begin/Restart Game
Arrow Keys – Move
Space bar to fire/action button


NOTE: This manual is in 2-column format.

1. GAME PLAY                                                    1

2. USING THE CONTROLLERS                                        1

3. CONSOLE CONTROLS                                             2

4. GAME VARIATIONS                                              2

5. SCORING                                                      3

6. GAME SELECT MATRIX                                           4


                            1. GAME PLAY

Your objective is to roll as high a     called a "spare".  Spares are mark-
score as possible, whether you're       ed with a "/" on the screen.
playing a one-player or a two-player                       xxx
game.  There are ten "pins" to                          xxx
knock down.  You have two tries (or                  xxx
rolls) to knock down the pins each      An "open frame" occurs when you 
time you're up.  Each game consists     fail to knock down all then pins in
of ten "frames" (or turns).             two rolls.  Open frames are in-
                                        dicated with a straight horizontal
If you succeed in knocking down all     line (-) on the screen.
the pins on your first roll, it's called             xxxxxxxxx
a "strike".  A strike is marked with
an "x" on the TV screen.                The ultimate goal in BOWLING is
          xxx   xxx                     to roll 12 consecutive strikes for
             xxx                        a "perfect" score of 300.  See the
          xxx   xxx                     SCORING section for a more
If you leave pins standing, but "pick   detailed breakdown of point
them up" on your second try, it's       scoring.

                        2. USING THE CONTROLLERS

            ---                         Joystick with the red button to your
            | |                         upper left, toward the television
            | |                         screen.  See Section 3 of your
    +-------| |-------+                 owner's manual for further details.
    | **   .| |.      |
    |     . | | .     |                 Move your Joystick forward (away
    |      .....      |                 from you), back (toward you),

Use your Joystick Controllers with                     Forward
the ATARI(R) Game Program(TM) car-                        ^
tridge.  Be sure the Joystick Con-                    _   |   _
troller cables are firmly plugged                    |\   |   /|
into the CONTROLLER jacks at the                        \ | /
back of your ATARI Video Com-                     <--- NEUTRAL --->
puter System(TM) game.  For one-                        / | \
player games, use the Joystick                       |/   |   \|
Controller plugged into the LEFT                      -   |   -
CONTROLLER jack.  Hold the                                v

to position the Bowler.  Press the      controls the positioning of the
red button on your Joystick Con-        Bowler.  After pressing the red but-
troller to relase the ball.             ton, the Joystick controls the direc-
                                        tion of the ball as it moves down
NOTE: Before pressing the red but-      the "alley".
ton to release the ball, the Joystick

                            3. CONSOLE CONTROLS

GAME SELECT AND GAME                    the screen.  (Player number 1 is
RESET                                   blue; Player number 2 is green.)

To start the action:                    DIFFICULTY SWITCHES
* Press the game select switch to
  choose the game you wish to           When the difficulty switch is in
  play.  The number of each game        the a position, the computer
  appears at the upper left corner      makes it more difficult for you to
  of the screen.  A 1 or a 2 is         roll strikes and spares. (Use the
  displayed at the upper right cor-     left difficulty switch is in the b
  ner of the screen to indicate         position.
  whether the game is for one or
  two players                           For the beginning player, it is easier
* Press the game reset switsh to        to obtain high schores when the 
  begin play.                           difficulty switch is in the b
During game play the number of
each frame is displayed at the up-      TV TYPE SWITCH
per left corner of the screen for
one-player and two-player games.        Set this switch to color if you have
In two-player games the number of       a color television set.  Set it to b-w
the player who is currently up is       if you are playing the game in black
shown at the upper right corner of      and white.

                            4. GAME VARIATIONS

In GAMES 1 and 2 the ball stays in      tion.  The ball does not come out of
a steady curve pattern once the         this pattern until that roll is com-
Joystick is moved in either direc-      pleted.


         To Curve ball up               +------------------------------+
                ^                       |                              |
            _   |   _                   |                              |
           |\   |   /|                  |                              |
              \ | /                     |      SCREEN                  |
        <--- NEUTRAL --->               |                              |
              / | \                     |                              |
           |/   |   \|                  |                 SHOT         |
            -   |   -                   |                              |
                v                       |                              |
        To Curve ball down              |                              |
                                        |                              |
* Push the Joystick forward to
  curve the ball up toward the top
  of the screen.                            
                                        GAMES 5 and 6 are straight ball
* Pull the Joystick back to curve       games.  In these games the direc-
  the ball down toward the bottom       tion of the ball cannot be altered
  of the screen.                        after it is released.  Positioning the
In games 3 ahd 4 you can steer          Bowler is the most important move.
the ball up and/or down while it is     
moving down the alley.  If the          GAMES 1, 3, and 5 are one-player
Joystick is returned to its neutral     games.  GAMES 2, 4, and 6 are
position the ball straightens out.      two-player games.

                                  5. SCORING
 xxx   xxx
    xxx       STRIKE                    +------------------------------+
 xxx   xxx                              |                              |
                                        |                              |
       xxx                              |          SCREEN              |
    xxx      SPARE                      |                              |
 xxx                                    |                              |
                                        |                              |
 xxxxxxxxx   OPEN FRAME                 |              SHOT            |
                                        |                              |
You have the possibility of scoring     |                              |
from 0 to 30 points in each frame.      |                              |
However, the difference in your         |                              |
score depends on whetehr you            +------------------------------+
strike, spare, or leave an open 


For instance, in an open frame the      * In one-player games the score is
number of pins you pick up (for           on the left.
both rolls) is simply added to your
running score.                          The following is an example of how
                                        a game might be scored.
However, when you pick up all the
pins on the second roll for a spare,    +--+---+--+---+--+---+--+---+     
your running score is not totalled      |  |_X_|  |_/_|  |_X_|  |_/_|
immediately.  Instead, the score for    | 20   | 40   | 60   | 80   |
that frame remains empty until your     +------+------+------+------+     
next roll.  At that time, 10 is added   +--+---+--+---+--+---+--+---+     
to the number of pins you pick up.      |  |_X_|  |_/_|  |_-_|  |_-_|
This subtotal is then added to your     | 100  | 117  | 126  | 135  |
total running score.                    +------+------+------+------+     
Whenever you roll a strike your run-    |  |_/_|  |_X_|_X_|_X_| 
ning score is not totalled until after  | 155  | 185  |       |
the next TWO rolls.  Ten points are     +------+------+-------+           
then added to the total number of
pins you pick up for those rolls.       TENTH FRAME BONUS
Therefore, if you roll three con-
secutive strikes, you score 30          If you spare in the tenth frame, you
points for the frame in which the       are allowed one more roll.  The
first strike occurred.                  number of pins you pick up, plus 10
                                        (because of the spare), is then add-
* In two-player games, the score        ed to your score.
  for the left player is displayed at
  the top left corner of the screen;    If you strike in the tenth frame, the
  the right player's score is shown     pins you pick up for the next TWO
  on the right.                         rolls are added to your total score.

                            6. GAME SELECT MATRIX

               | Game Number       | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
               | Number of Players | 1 | 2 | 1 | 2 | 1 | 2 |
               | Game Number       |   |   | X | X |   |   |
               | Number of Players |   |   |   |   | X | X |
               | Game Number       | X | X |   |   |   |   |

-------------------Atari 2600 Instructions Archive-------------------

Our Atari 2600 emulator utilizes Javascript to run in your browser. No plugin is required, but a fast modern web browser will enhance the game play.

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Emulation on mobile devices will drain your battery quite fast. I recommend playing while device is plugged into charger.



Bowling Arcade Game Emulated on the Atari 2600. Play Bowling in your web browser or mobile phone. This Atari 2600 console emulator provides very accurate Bowling gameplay. Bowling is a classic 1980s Atari 2600 video game.