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Berzerk (Atari 2600) - Retro Review

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Game Name: Berzerk

Developer: Stern Electronics

Publisher: Stern Electronics

Platforms: Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200 and Vectrex


When I was a kid I fell in love with the cover art. It always looked like it could be a Star Wars game. I must have spent hundreds of hours trying to get the high score. Obviously, the game was not as polished as the art work but I let my imagination run wild. Does this game hold up after all of these years?


As with many of the games on Atari, the gameplay is very simple. It is a multi-directional shooter. Nowadays, I guess we would call it run and gun type of game. You were able to play 2 players. One player would play and when one would die, the second player would start playing. Very typical of the games at the time.

The controls were pretty good. The game is very responsive and if you get killed, you feel it is because of you and not the joystick.

As you progress in the game, the robots, shoot faster at you. It gets more and more difficult to move away from the enemy. You can shoot up, down left, right and also diagonal. I find that as you progress, there is a little more strategy as you want to make sure that you do not get hit by the lasers.

I only realized this recently, but when a robot is hit, the explosion gives a happy face. It is funny, through all the years that I have played this game, I had never noticed it until I streamed it on Twitch earlier this week.

There is not much else to the game. You basically go to various rooms and kill all the robots. It does not sound like fun when putting this in writing, but it does have its charm. I have never played the game on other systems. I would assume that there would be more colours as the other systems had better capabilities as the Atari 2600 version.

Find below some sample gameplay

Berzerk (Atari 2600) - Sample Gameplay


I think this game holds up quite well. I had a lot of fun streaming it. It seems from the people that I have chatted, that this is also a favourite amongst the classic game fans. It is possible that there is a sense of Nostagia. However, back then, players did not need achievements in order to have fun. We just tried to get the high score.

What do you think? Is Berzerk still a good game to this day? Let me know below.

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