Space Cactus Canyon - Atari 2600



Box Upgrade:  No        Yes (Add $15.00)      

The year is 2543. You are the last cactus on earth.

You live in the scorching deserts of the Rocky Mountains in what used to be Alberta, Canada. The heat is nearly unbearable and wildfires are common. The rest of your fellow cacti have moved to a more temperate climate ... on Mars. They have sent a final spaceship to transport you there. Reaching it won't be easy. Water has become Earth's most precious resource, and although you are a cactus, you need every drop. You'll collect the water as you move through the canyons on your way to rendezvous with your rocket. Every so often, you'll even find a bucket of water, and you'll be able rest for the night. But watch out for the humans. The few that remain after World War XII think they need the water even more than you. And they'll do anything to protect it.

Space Cactus Canyon


Your objective is to collect the water at the end of each canyon. Collect enough water, and eventually you'll reach your spaceship that will take you to Mars.

Press the red button on your Joystick to fire a needle. If a needle strikes a human, the human will turn into desert dust. Remember you have a very limited supply of needles. The blue bar in the lower right corner of the screen gives you a visual indicator of the number of needles that remain.

The blue squares in the lower left corner of the screen show how many cacti you have left to complete your mission. Every so often, you'll enter a dead-end canyon that has no clear path between you and the water. If that happens, you'll automatically back up and find a new canyon with a better trail. You reckon there are about thirty canyons between you and your spaceship.

After drinking a bucket of water, you'll be sleepy. You'll find a safe cavern and doze for the night in the heat. Lately, you've been having strange dreams about relics from the Old World. It's thrilling to touch them, but they quickly disappear.

More importantly, in each dream you see a pile of shimmering needles. When you touch them, they disappear, too. But each morning, you're astounded to discover you have grown a few more needles to replace some of the ones you've lost in the canyons. This biopsychic phenomenon concerns you, but not enough to show mercy to the humans.

Space Cactus Canyon Screenshot Space Cactus Canyon Screenshot Space Cactus Canyon Screenshot Space Cactus Canyon Screenshot

Join the Space Cactus Captains

If you score 80,000 points or more, you are eligible to join an elite group of Space Cacti across the galaxy. Take a photo of your score showing your official Space Cactus Canyon Video Game Cartridge being played on an Atari Video Computer System and television. E-mail the photo to [email protected] along with your name and postal address. We'll enroll you in the ranks of the Space Cactus Captains and send you an official membership patch.

Space Cactus Canyon Patch

Available while supplies last. If you'd like to know whether patches are still available, please inquire at [email protected]

MelodyAdditional Information

Space Cactus Canyon is a Melody-enhanced game. Space Cactus Canyon includes game cartridge and full-color 12-page manual. Space Cactus Canyon supports the NTSC television format (there is no PAL support at this time).

Get a Space Cactus Canyon Box!

Space Cactus Canyon BoxSpace Cactus Canyon BoxIf you'd like a boxed copy of Space Cactus Canyon, please select "Box Upgrade: Yes" at the top of the page before adding Space Cactus Canyon to your cart. Our boxes are professionally printed and include a box insert to hold your Space Cactus Canyon cartridge in place. We want you to play our games, so we have not sealed or shrinkwrapped the boxes in any way, allowing you easy access to the game cartridge and manual.

These boxes are the same size as boxes Atari produced for their games "back in the day". They look great sitting on a shelf with your other boxed homebrew games, or alongside games from the classic Atari 2600 library. We only have a limited number of boxes for each game, and there is no guarantee they will become available again once our supplies are exhausted. Click on the images to the right to see larger photos of the box.

Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 32K DPC+
Code and Design B.J. Best.
Label, Box, Manual, and Patch Design Ty Sanderson and Charles Nevsimal

Lee Kebler on 07/20/2020 05:31pm
I am a total sucker for procedurally generated maps in video games. This game does it the BEST. It fun, quirky, and never the same game twice. The patch goal is something I wish more video games did as well. This has to be one of the most original backstories to an Atari homebrew I have read. Totally amazing.
Johnrh on 11/27/2018 06:47pm
Space Cactus Canyon is a very well produced maze randomizer, I purchased the boxed edition with all the bells and whistles and was blown away by the art work and quality! This being my first home brew I admittedly had low expectations but this far out reached those.

You start as a lone cactus trying to traverse the desert escaping the humans on the way to reach your ship. Then this ship will take you to mars where your other cactus friends have gone to reach a better climate. Very funny story and I love it!

With the game play you are faced with randomizes mazes with a variety of humans that you have to evade or shoot with your needles, but be careful you only have so many needles! I found this to be your most important resource that you have to conserve especially for when you have to face the dreaded shooting runners! When they move and shoot at the same time you definitely have to think a lot quicker. never got tired of this game with the randomized mazes and the satisfying end with the ship to take you away to mars! I would say it has some of the best replay ability out of my entire Atari 2600 collection at the moment.

Make sure to reach a score of atleast 80,000 to join the Dpace Cactus Capetians! May take awhile but it%u2019s worth it to get the amazing patch in the end.

All I can say is it is a fantastic game and worth your money.
Wyluli Wolf on 12/26/2017 10:18pm
When I first saw this game appear in the store I was reading the description and got no further than this."You live in the scorching deserts of the Rocky Mountains in what used to be Alberta, Canada. The heat is nearly unbearable and wildfires are common. The rest of your fellow cacti have moved to a more temperate climate . on Mars."
That is when I knew I would simply HAVE to get this game.
I received it today and boy am I happy. The box and manual are top notch. Made from heavy stock, super glossy, super artwork and all around fantastic quality.
The game itself is fast paced and very fun to play. It doesn't take long to get used to the game play. You must make your way to the water thru the canyon but watch out for those wylie humans! Some are fast. Some shoot at you. Some are fast AND shoot at you! You must be agile and tricky but it can be done.

The difficulty ramps up quite a bit once you make it to the ship. It just keeps you coming back for more trying to beat your previous high score. I found it to be a lot of fun and very addictive. Here is hoping for that Space Cactus Canyon patch! I want to put it on my space suit for my flight to Mars!

Buy this game! It's great!
Steven Ramirez on 12/23/2017 11:20pm
This is one of those, simple to play but difficult to master games. You'll be on the edge of your seat, as you're Space Cactus tries to survive a gunfight, knowing that one night soon, you will reach your rocket ship and pilot your craft to your new home on Mars.
The overall gameplay is smooth and both, as your character and your enemies move around pretty quickly. The game can get frenetic when you run out of needles and your only choice is to draw the enemy towards you, while simultaneously avoiding them in order to reach your water supply. This game has excellent replayability, due to the random generated mazes. You will find yourself wanting to play "one more time".
If the gameplay weren't challenging enough, the quest for the Space Cactus Captains Official Membership patch, will keep you coming back for more. The whole family was rooting me on, while I tried my best to reach the 80,000 point threshold that awards you a patch. It took a while, but I finally made it and I hope to hear that many of you make it too.
This game deserves to be a part of everyone's collection, so go out and purchase it.
Froggo Gamer on 11/10/2017 10:14pm
I wanted to be the first to review this game because this was the one game I was definitely eager to buy at the PRGE.

The gameplay is pretty simple-- you're a walking cactus dodging human cowboy to collect water. The mazes are random, so it is a different experience each time.

You have to be ready to shoot needles at every new screen because sometimes the maze begins with an enemy having no obstructions in the way and they make a beeline for you. At the same time, you want to conserve needles (besides having a limited amount, they add to your final score when you reach the spaceship), so you want to find ways around the enemies as much as possible.

There are a number of factors that affect your score, such as reaching the water as quickly as possible, collecting the items in the bonus "dream" stages, and having lives/ needles left when you finally reach your ship. (I make it a point on bonus rounds to go after the needles first, then gather the other items.) I suppose it is possible to crack that 80k to become a Space Cactus Captain before reaching the ship, but you'll have to have quick reflexes (and at times, just a little luck). I did break 100k so I look forward to getting that patch.

The story line is as whimsical as what you'd expect from an original run Atari 2600 game. It is definitely one of the most amusing stories for a game I've ever seen and that's part of what made it alluring to me. The section at the end of the manual regarding proper care of Atari cartridges is hilarious as well.

It is worth the money. I highly recommend this game.

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