Platforms: Atari 2600


Main Genre:
Side View
Visual Presentation:
Scrolling (Horizontal or Vertical)
Featured Vehicles:
Planes / Flight


Barnstorming for the Atari 2600
Barnstorming for the Atari 2600

Barnstorming is a racing game released by Activision for the Atari 2600 in 1982. In the game players control a biplane with the goal of flying through a series of barns while avoiding obstacles in the shortest time possible.


Players control a biplane which can move up or down by moving the joystick and speed up or slow down by pressing or releasing the button. The plane is on the left side of the screen which scrolls continuously from right to left. The goal is to fly through a set number of barns in the shortest time possible. Along the way there are several obstacles; between the barns there may be one or more windmills and weather vanes which players need to fly over. In the sky flocks of geese appear (if the plane is flying fast enough) that need to be avoided. If players hit any of these obstacles or crash into a barn instead of flying through it, the plane temporarily loses speed (or even stops completely for a moment). The game ends when players have flown through the required number of barns; if players miss any barns, the course is extended until the required number is reached. The number of barns a player needs to fly through varies depending on the difficulty level selected; the four included game options are as follows:

  • Game 1: Hedge Hopper: Fly through 10 barns on a fixed course.
  • Game 2: Crop Duster: Fly through 15 barns on a fixed course.
  • Game 3: Stunt Pilot: Fly through 15 barns on a fixed course. The course is more challenging than the one on Game 2.
  • Game 4: Flying Ace: Fly through 25 barns on a randomized course.
Additional difficulty options allow players to select a smaller clearance height for the barns or add additional geese.

Similar to other Activision games of the era, it was possible to earn a patch for high scores. Players who could achieve a time of 33.3 seconds on game 1, 51.0 seconds on game 2, or 54.0 seconds on game 3 and sent a photo of the screen to Activision were awarded the “Flying Aces” patch.


Platform: Atari 2600
Conceived and Designed by: Steve Cartwright
Special Thanks to: David Crane


Instruction Manual
Atari 2600


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Packaging/Label Styles

This game has releases with the following standardized packaging styles: