Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Platforms: Atari 2600, Intellivision


Main Genre:
Licensed Title
Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Visual Presentation:
Scrolling (Horizontal or Vertical)


Intellivision version of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Intellivision version of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is an action game inspired by the movie of the same name. It was developed by Parker Brothers and initially released for the Atari 2600 in 1982 and then ported to the Intellivision in 1983. The game is the first to have a Star Wars license and recreates a scene from the movie where giant AT-AT walkers are on the planet Hoth attempting to destroy the rebel base.


Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back takes place on the ice planet Hoth with a large, horizontally scrolling screen. To the far right is the rebel base and power generator, and from the left are numerous AT-AT walkers approaching. The power generator needs to be protected at all costs; if one of the walkers reaches it, the base is destroyed and the game is over. Players control the rebel defense in the form of a snowspeeder, a comparatively small but agile craft capable of firing missiles at the walkers. To destroy a walker, players need to repeatedly shoot it above the legs (shots to the legs don't cause any damage). As the walker takes on damage, it will change in color; once enough damage is sustained, the walker is destroyed. While attacking, players need to dodge attacks from the walkers as well as make sure not to crash into a walker itself. Similar to the walkers, the player's snowspeeder changes color as damage is sustained and will eventually crash if hit too many times. From time to time, players will be granted the power of the force; during this short time the snowspeeder is invulnerable.

As the game progresses, the speed of the walkers increases allowing less time for them to be destroyed before they reach the power generator. Attacks from the walkers become faster and more difficult to dodge as well. The game ends when the player loses all of their snowspeeders or if one of the imperial walkers reaches the power generator.


Platform: Atari 2600
Designed by: Sam Kjellman
Programmed by: Rex E. Bradford


Instruction Manual
Atari 2600


Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back has appeared in.
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Magazine Advertisements
January 1983 magazine ad
Product Catalogs
Parker Brothers 1982 product catalog
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in the Parker Brothers product catalog