Midnight Mutants (Atari 7800)

Midnight Mutants is an action-adventure game for the Atari 7800 ProSystem (1990)


Midnight Mutants was one of the last games released for the Atari 7800 in 1990. As such, it had pretty low distribution and is pretty rare today. It was also exclusive to that system so you won’t find it to play on anything else.

The Atari 7800 was actually developed by Atari and test marketed in 1984. However, because of the video game crash and Atari’s poor financial position they decided not to release it to a wider market until 1986. By then, Nintendo dominated the video games market. Atari had been offered the chance to market the NES in the U.S. and chose not to. They made some pretty bad decisions in the mid 80s.

The technical capabilities of the Atari 7800, except for sound, were on par with or slightly better than the NES but it suffered the same problem all of Atari’s consoles after the 2600 suffered – lack of significant 3rd party support. Midnight Mutants does a fair job of showing the graphical capabilities of the system and it is really a pretty good game. The play style is similar to something like Zelda in that it is an action adventure game spanning a fairly large area and a number of locations (though it is not nearly as big as Zelda). The one problem with the game is that there is no save feature which makes it a pretty difficult game and fairly time consuming to play.

Midnight Mutants is one of the few examples of an original game on the 7800 as opposed to an arcade port or a port from another system. It does a fair job of showing what the capabilities of the 7800 are. Too bad the 7800 didn’t have more developers and a longer life cycle as I’m sure far more impressive things were possible on the system.