Keystone Kapers

For: Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision


Main Genre:


Atari 5200 version of Keystone Kapers
Atari 5200 version of Keystone Kapers
Keystone Kapers is an action game by Activision first released for the Atari 2600 in 1983 and later ported to the Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit computers, ColecoVision, and MSX. In the game the notorious thief Harry Hooligan is on the loose, and players take on the role of Officer Keystone Kelly attempting to capture him before he escapes from a department store.


Harry Hooligan is trapped in a department store and is running as fast as he can for the exit! As Officer Keystone Kelly players need to catch him within a given time limit, or Harry escapes.

The Keystone Kapers department store consists of three floors and a rooftop and is 8 screens wide (a small map at the bottom of the screen shows where both the player and Harry are). To move from floor to floor there are escalators located at either end of the store and a rather slow elevator in the middle which continually moves on its own (there isn't a button to press to call it). Each level in the game begins with Harry in the middle of the second floor of the store and players on the first floor at the right side. Harry will be running as fast as he can towards the exit located on the roof; if he reaches the exit before players catch him, he escapes and players lose a life. A timer at the top of the screen shows how much time players have until Harry escapes.

Although Keystone Kelly starts out far behind Harry, he can run much faster and is able to catch up within the given time limit. There are, of course, numerous obstacles in the way, some moving and some stationary. Players will encounter cathedral radios, beach balls, shopping carts, biplanes, and more. Coming into contact with most obstacles will result in a 9 second penalty (in some cases, such as with biplanes that appear in later levels, a life will be lost). Players need to carefully duck or jump over any of the obstacles in the way or risk running out of time.

Players are able to use the elevator to attempt to avoid running across the full length of the store, however timing can be tricky; the elevator moves rather slowly so waiting for it may waste valuable time. Additionally, if players get ahead of Harry he will reverse direction and head to the lower floors of the store. While Harry can jump down escalators, Kelly cannot meaning players need to use the elevator to guide Kelly back down to a lower floor — usually this ends up costing too much time and allows Harry to escape.

Each time Harry Hooligan is caught, the game repeats but with a higher level of difficulty by increasing the number of obstacles and the speed of moving obstacles. Like many games of the era, Keystone Kapers doesn't have an ending and keeps increasing in difficulty until players finally lose all of their lives.


Platform: Atari 2600
Conceived and Designed by: Garry Kitchen
Platform: Atari 5200
By: Garry Kitchen
Adapted to the Atari 5200 by: Alex DeMeo


Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation Keystone Kapers has appeared in.
*Note: If you are unable to see any images in this section, you may have an ad blocker installed that is blocking the thumbnails and/or images.
Product Catalogs
Activision Winter/Spring 1983 product catalog

Packaging/Label Styles

This game has releases with the following standardized packaging styles: