Alien Menace


Developers Activision (original)
neotokeo2001 (hack)
Publishers Activision (original)
Freeware (hack)
System Atari 2600
Release Dates 1982 (original)
2005 (hack)
Modes Single player
Two players alternating
Media Cartridge (original, hack)
ROM file (hack)


In River Raid, players controlled a series of jets flying over a scrolling "River of No Return", destroying multiple types of targets of various sizes and attack patterns.

Alien Menace is a hack of River Raid, giving the game a science fiction theme, changing most of the graphics and even some of the gameplay elements.


You pilot a Star Fighter over what is left of your Home-world. The attack came so fast that you are the only fighter that was able to get airborne, no one else survived!!!

It's just you and them. Wipe out the ALIEN MENACE and take your revenge!!

Shoot the U.F.O's that have landed for an additional bonus. Watch your fuel. Re-fuel by passing over the fuel towers.[1]


Players control a Star Fighter that is constantly stationed at the bottom of the screen and can only move left and right as an unending planetary landscape scrolls downwards. Players must avoid or destroy various enemy Kryll craft, objects, personnel, and Sector Bonus bridges and avoid colliding with any land mass, enemy vehicle, personnel or bridge or they will lose a Star Fighter; lose all Star Fighters and the game will end. Once a player's Star Fighter approaches various enemy craft or personnel, they will invariably start to move, although most are confined within borders of the landscape, except for enemy Interceptors, which fly overhead without pause.

Players’ Star Fighters are also constantly draining fuel, although they can be replenished by docking with onscreen fuel depots. Running out of fuel will also cost the player a reserve Star Fighter.

Bridges are also encountered during a game, which, upon being destroyed, the player will start off at the last bridge they destroyed prior to losing a Star Fighter.

There is also a variation for two players.

Hack changesEdit

There were many changes to the landscape that was made, resulting in many tunnels that the players could fly through. Several extra targets were also added, one being a stationary Bonus that would explode, as well as Landing Craft and extra moving small targets (the Kryll Soldiers and Elite Troopers vs. only the helicopters from the original).

Controls, startupEdit

  • Select game–Game Select switch
  • Start game–Game Reset switch
  • Fire straight missiles–Difficulty switch (A position)
  • Steer missiles–Difficulty switch (B position)


  • Move Star Fighter–left/right
  • Speed up–up on joystick
  • Slow down–down on joystick
  • Fire–button
  • Resume game with reserve Star Fighter–joystick or button


  • Fuel Depot–80 points
  • Sector Bonus–500 points
  • Bonus–500 points
  • Kryll Soldier–60 points
  • Elite Trooper–60 points
  • Brute–30 points
  • Interceptor–100 points
  • Landing Craft–500 points
  • Extra Star Fighter awarded–every 10,000 points


  • The original game came with two label variations, being the original release and one with a blue label. This version comes as a ROM file to be played on Atari emulators or flashcarts. Only three cartridges were made for a contest.
  • The contest cartridge version of the game was used at Digital Press Videogames N. A. V. A. meeting. The rules included that the Game Select and Difficulty Switches were disabled, along with the player only having one Star Fighter[2].


Download ROM


  1. From the Alien Menace promo.
  2. Atari Age private message from the author.
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