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Atari Adventure

''This article is about a video game for the Atari 2600 video game console. See also adventure and Colossal Cave Adventure.

Screenshot of Atari Adventure

Adventure for the Atari 2600 is considered the first action/adventure video game. Its creator Warren Robinett also introduced the first Easter Egg to the gaming world.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Gameplay
3 Firsts
4 Play Adventure
5 Indenture


Adventure was first published in 1978 by Atari. It was inspired by a computer text game, Colossal Cave Adventure, created by Will Crowther and later modified by Don Woods. Despite discouragement from his boss at Atari who said it could not be done, Robinett created a graphic game loosely based on the text game. Atari's Adventure went on to sell a million copies and is considered by many to be one of the company's finest games.

At the time of its creation, Atari didn't credit any of its authors for their work, so Robinett included a hidden message in the game identifying himself as the creator, thus creating the first known Easter Egg. A young player from Utah first discovered the hidden message.


The game concept is simple. The character, represented by a large square "dot", is guided throughout a multi-screen route containing castles, mazes, and rooms. The object of the game is to find the golden grail and return it to the golden castle. Various obstacles hinder the path, including walls, three dragons, and a particularly annoying bat who steals objects including keys to the three castles, a sword, a bridge, and a magnet. A map of the Adventure world can be seen here.

You find appropriately matching-colored keys to unlock the different castle gates. Your character also could use a magnet to move a bridge to cross into otherwise off-limits areas of the game.

Enemies in the game attempt to foil your quest to open all the locked castle gates; the two types of enemies are dragonss and bats. Dragons have the ability to kill you but can also be killed with the sword, while bats, although relatively harmless in that they cannot kill your character, likewise cannot be killed. Worse is the bats' ability to steal your items.

Screenshot of Atari Adventure


Not only was Adventure the first action/adventure game and the first to include an Easter Egg, it was also the first ever to allow a character to carry and use moveable objects. Until then, other games of its type allowed a character to have a stash of items, but required the player to select which one to use at any given moment, usually through keyboard or joystick input. Adventure allowed the player to drop one item and pick up another without having to type in any commands.

Play Adventure

Gamers who own the actual cartridge are legally allowed to download an Atari 2600 emulator to run on a computer and the ROM file for the game. In addition, a DirectX clone of the game for PCs can be downloaded here, and a Macromedia Flash-based version of the game can be found here.


Indenture is a clone of the original game, with an additional Game 4 and Game 5 added. The name "Indenture" refers to the fact that programmers at Atari were not allowed to claim credit for their games.