Video Game History Wiki

Avalanche is an arcade game released by Atari Inc. in 1978. The object is to catch avalanching rocks with a controllable set of paddles that diminish in number and size as the rocks fall faster and faster.


Avalanche is housed in a custom cabinet that includes 2 large lit start buttons and a rotary controller. The side art and bezel feature groupings of rocks with extending lines meant to convey the motion of falling rocks. The screen is black and white with 2 colored strips to provide colored rows of graphics as in Breakout.

The PCB is based 6502 CPU, with game code stored in roms. All game text is selectable to 4 different languages: English, French, German, or Spanish. Avalanche also includes a built-in self-test diagnostic program that displays all microprocessor and memory functions, including all operator switches and functions.


Avalanche is for 1 or 2 players, with no simultaneous gameplay. There are six rows of rocks to deal with. The game starts with a six-storied platform and the player loses one platform per row of rocks cleared. The player scores points for those rocks they prevent from reaching the ground. The farther the row of rocks, the smaller and faster they become. The ultimate goal is to get enough points so that the player can continue the game should they lose their first one.