Keystone Kapers Review

Platform: Atari 2600

Publisher: Activision | Developer: Activision | Released: 1983

Also available on: Atari 5200, Atari 8-Bit, ColecoVision, MSX

Keystone Kapers Review - Atari 2600

Keystone Kapers: About the game...

Keystone Kapers is a side-on platformer on a three-story department store and its roof. The store is eight screens wide with escalators located at alternating ends of the map, or an elevator in the center. There is also a mini-map at the bottom of the screen.

You control Officer Keystone Kelly, your mission if you choose to accept it, is to navigate the department store by escalator or elevator to catch Harry Hooligan. As the levels progress you will run into many new obstacles, which you jump and duck to avoid. To make things even more difficult, Harry gets faster as the levels progress. The obstacles include radios (I thought they were phone boxes as a kid), beach balls, shopping carts and toy planes. If you are hit by these objects you will lose time to catch Harry.

The game proceeds through rounds until the player runs out of lives. Extra lives are awarded at every 10,000 points, up to the maximum of three.

As with most early video games, there is no end to the game; each level gets progressively harder, adding more and/or faster hazards until Kelly loses all of his lives.

Activision Billy Club patch

If a player achieved a score of 35,000 or better, they could take a photo of the screen with the score and send it in to Activision to receive a special Billy Club patch.

Activision offered  lot of these patch promotions in the early 80’s for other games too, including H.E.R.O., River Raiders, Cliff Hangers, Megamaniacs, Beamriders and many more.

Activision billy club patch
Keystone Kapers Atari 2600
Keystone Kapers Atari 2600
Keystone Kapers Atari 2600

Pixel Games Review

Keystone Kapers is a game I played frequently on my Atari 2600 growing up, it’s a challenging and fun game and keeps you coming back. Avoiding all of the obstacles gets ridiculously challenging, and definitely helps with memorizing the hazards in your bid to catch Harry Hooligan. 

I highly recommend this game for the Atari 2600.

Pixel Score: 78%

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