Basketball (1978)

by Nish
5 minutes read


Basketball (1978): A Simple but Fun Atari 2600 Classic

Basketball was one of the first games released for the Atari 2600, and it remains one of the most popular and enduring titles for the console. The game is a simple one-on-one basketball game, but it’s surprisingly addictive and fun to play.


The goal of Basketball is to score more points than your opponent by shooting the ball through the hoop. The game is played on a simple court with two players, one on each side. Each player controls their player with a joystick, and can move up, down, left, and right. Players can also jump by pressing the button on the joystick.

To shoot the ball, simply press the button on the joystick while holding the joystick in the direction you want to shoot. The ball will travel in a parabolic arc, and will hopefully land in the hoop.

If a player makes a successful shot, they will score two points. If a player misses a shot, the ball will rebound off the backboard or rim, and the other player will have a chance to grab it.

Players can also steal the ball from their opponent by bumping into them. If a player steals the ball, they will gain possession of it and be able to shoot it themselves.

The game is played to a score of 11 points, and the first player to reach 11 points wins.

Graphics and Sound

The graphics in Basketball are simple, but they are effective. The court is represented by a black background with white lines, and the players are represented by simple white squares. The ball is represented by a white circle.

The sound in Basketball is also simple, but it is effective. The game features a simple beep when the ball is shot, and a different beep when the ball goes in the hoop.


The controls in Basketball are simple and easy to learn. The joystick controls the movement of the player, and the button on the joystick controls the shooting and jumping.


Basketball is a relatively easy game to learn, but it can be difficult to master. The AI opponent is challenging, and it can be difficult to score points against them.


Basketball is a simple but fun and addictive Atari 2600 game. It’s a great game for both single players and multiplayer, and it’s still a lot of fun to play today.

Tips for Playing Basketball

Here are a few tips for playing Basketball:

  • Use the backboard. The backboard can be your friend. If you’re having trouble making shots, try bouncing the ball off the backboard and into the hoop.
  • Steal the ball. Stealing the ball from your opponent is a great way to gain possession of the ball and get a chance to score.
  • Play defense. Defense is just as important as offense in Basketball. Make sure to stay in front of your opponent and block their shots.
  • Be patient. Basketball is a slow-paced game. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t score right away. Just keep playing and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.


Basketball was one of the most popular games for the Atari 2600, and it helped to establish the console as a major force in the video game industry. The game has been ported to a number of other platforms over the years, and it remains a popular choice for retro gamers today.

Basketball is a simple game, but it’s a classic for a reason. It’s fun, addictive, and challenging, and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon with friends or family.

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