Drop Zone 4 (1975) & Bombs Away! (1976) - Atari VCS

Drop Zone 4 and Bombs Away! "found" for the Atari VCS / Atari 2600 in time for its 40th birthday celebrations. DZ4 is the first commercial video game with a peace mode and first playable with one-button.

Bombs Away! Download
Bombs Away! Cartridge (coming soon).

To play on a modern machine use Stella (PC) or 2600.emu (Android). More discussion at AtariAge.

Game Accessibility Info symbol. White joypad rider on blue background.

Game Accessibility Info: One-button play and restart. Easier play option. High-contrast. Colour-Blind accessible. Deaf accessible. Flashing off option. No time limit.

The original Bombs Away! and Drop Zone 4 author, David Main, was a peace protester in 1975. He wanted to include a "peace mode" into his game where if you managed to ditch all your bombs into the sea without hitting any signs of life, you would be awarded a bonus free game.

A year or so later (so the anecdote goes) David was shocked to see Bombs Away! up for sale from Atari on their brand new Atari VCS console. It felt as though he had been pirated. Try Air-Sea Battle game variation 19 and spot the differences.

The Atari VCS version of Bombs Away! comes from a parallel universe where this was released instead of Air-Sea Battle, the peace mode made it in and programmers, artists and technicians were all given a written credit. Massive thanks to David Main (still working as an Electrical Engineer), William Pilgrim and all who helped resurrect this game. I'm also hoping to show off the original arcade game at the occasional game accessibility showcase.

Not sure if I'd be doing what I do without Atari arcade games and the Atari VCS I shared with my brother. Thanks Atari. If only there was a peace mode for this world.

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2 Responses to 'Drop Zone 4 (1975) & Bombs Away! (1976) - Atari VCS'

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