Monday, November 8, 2021

Ports of Entry: Parker Brothers

Unknown lead platform:


Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - Death Star Battle

First released for Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit in 1983.

Released for Atari 5200 in February 1984.

Released for ZX Spectrum in 1984 by Sinclair Research.

Mobygames says that the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit versions are ports by James Wickstead Design, but if this is so, and the 5200 is Parker Brothers' original design, why was it delayed by several months? Furthermore, why would the identical Atari 8-bit version be credited to James Wickstead? It doesn't add up.

James Bond 007

Released in 1984 for Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision in May 1984.

Released for Commodore 64 and SG-1000 in 1984.


The many simultaneous releases give little clue to this game's lead development platform. One clue, though, is that the Atari 2600 version alone is credited to On Time Software, and all other versions to Parker Brothers. Wikipedia states that On Time Software was the contracted developer, so perhaps they developed the 2600 original, and Parker Brothers ported it to other systems?

Frogger II: ThreeeDeep!

First released for Atari 8-bit on August 1984.

Released for Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 on September 1984.

Released for ColecoVision and Commodore 64 on October 1984.

Released for Apple II and PC on 1984.


Atari 8-bit seems most likely for being first, but it isn't conclusive.

Select chronology: 

Title Lead Platform Date Contemporary ports
Code Name: Sector Dedicated console 1977
Merlin: The Electronic Wizard Dedicated handheld 1978
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Atari 2600 1982-7 1983 port to Intellivision
Spider-Man Atari 2600 1982-11
G.I. Joe: Cobra Strike Atari 2600 1983-2
Star Wars: Jedi Arena Atari 2600 1983-2
Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Match-Ups Atari 2600 1983-4
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi -
Death Star Battle
??? 1983 1983 releases on Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit
1984 releases on Atari 5200 and ZX Spectrum
James Bond 007 ??? 1984 1984 releases on Atari 8-bit, C64, and various consoles
Frogger II: ThreeeDeep! ??? 1984 1984 releases on various computers and consoles
Montezuma's Revenge Atari 8-bit 1984-9 1984 ports to Atari 5200 and various computers
Montezuma's Revenge Atari 2600 1984-9 Mobygames lists as a distinct game from the
computer/5200 version

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