Scramble - Atari 5200



Box Upgrade:  No        Yes (Add $15.00)      


ScrambleThe evil Groddering Empire is planning on launching a devastating attack on planet Earth! Earth’s only hope is to infiltrate and destroy the Groddering High Command at their base hidden deep within their home planet. However, intelligence reports that the Groddering home base is protected by the SCRAMBLE Defense System. A defense system so powerful that it is unsurpassed by any other weapon in the galaxy. At least that’s what the rumors say, because no one who has investigated it has returned alive!

As Earth’s last remaining pilot, you must guide your TEMPEST class starship through the six sectors of the SCRAMBLE Defense System to reach the Groddering home base. Destroy the Groddering base and Earth will be saved, fail and… well let’s just say there’s no plan B. All of Earth’s hopes rest on you, brave pilot. Good luck!


How to Play

It is up to you to successfully navigate the SCRAMBLE Defense System and destroy the enemy base hidden deep within. SCRAMBLE is divided into six different sectors, each with its own unique combination of defenses.

As you might recall from your pilot training, the TEMPEST class starship has four basic movement options. Pulling up or down on the control stick will cause the ship to climb or dive, while pushing left or right will change the ship’s speed. Your TEMPEST class starship is outfitted with the most advanced weapons the United Earth Federation’s scientists could devise. In addition to a powerful Meson laser which may be fired from the front of your ship, you also posses an unlimited supply of photon bombs for destroying ground targets.

As you explore the SCRAMBLE System you will need to keep an eye on your fuel gauge. Unfortunately, the further you are into the system the faster your ship will consume fuel due to the gravitational effects of the planet. The good news is that in addition to state-of-the-art weapons, your TEMPEST class starship is also equipped with an advanced fuel recovery system. As you destroy the fuel depots found within the SCRAMBLE System, your ship will absorb the released fuel vapor and use it to recharge your systems.

While traversing through each of the six sectors in the SCRAMBLE system, you'll need to be alert to the various targets and enemies you'll encounter along the way. These include Rockets, UFOs, Flamoids, Groddering Ground Installations, Fuel Depots, and ultimately, the Groddering Home Base, which must be destroyed to complete your mission! Consult your mission briefing pamphlet for complete details on these targets, as well as background information on each of the six sectors.

Gameplay Video

Game Options

Scramble has a variety of options to customize the game and increase the challenge as you become more adept at navigating the SCRAMBLE system!

  • ScrambleDifficulty: Normal or Easy. The Normal difficulty level is about the same as the arcade game and is recommended for experienced players. Easy reduces the difficulty level significantly and is suitable for beginners.
  • Tunnels: Wide or Normal. Determines the height of the tunnels found in the SCRAMBLE System. Wide is recommended for players using the standard 5200 controller, while Normal tunnels are suitable for users of self-centering controllers.
  • Ship Size: Normal or Small. Selecting the Small option will shrink the size of your ship, making it easier to avoid defenses and maneuver through tunnels.
  • Rockets: Normal or Fast. Determines how fast the rockets fly once launched.
  • Auto Fire: Off, Fast, or Slow. Selecting Fast or Slow Auto Fire will enable players to shoot without having to hold down the fire button.
  • Trigger 1: Missiles or Both. Selects the function of the top fire button. Selecting Missiles will assign missiles to the top fire button and bombs to the bottom fire button. Selecting Both will assign both missiles and bombs to each fire button.
  • Lives: 3, 4, or 5. Selects the starting number of lives.
  • Scroll: Normal or Fast. Changes the scrolling speed of the game. Select Normal for regular scrolling or Fast for a greater challenge.


Scramble Screenshot Scramble Screenshot Scramble Screenshot Scramble Screenshot Scramble Screenshot Scramble Screenshot

Get a Scramble Box!

Scramble Box

If you'd like a boxed copy of Scramble, please select "Box Upgrade: Yes" at the top of the page before adding Scramble to your cart. Our boxes are professionally printed and include a box insert to hold your Scramble 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.

Additional Information

Scramble includes game cartridge and full-color, 16-page manual. You can optionally purchase a professionally printed box (see above).

Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 32K
Programming Paul Lay and Harvey Kong Tin
Box, Manual and Label Designs and Artwork John Calcano (Atariboy2600)
Manual Layout: G. Tony Morse
Manual Text: Matt Reichert
River Raider on 10/16/2020 07:09pm
This is a very well done, faithful port to the cabinet-arcade version. Plays really well with the stock CX52 controller. Movement is smooth, artwork is great, and it is equally as challenging as the arcade version. Game objects are rendered clearly on the playfield, and the choice of colors is really well done. Highly recommended!
Egil Wold on 02/18/2020 07:12pm
Scramble for the 5200 gives you classic horizontal-shoot-em-up action at a very high quality.
Control your fighter using guns and bombs to take out a ton of enemies both as air- and ground-targets.
You will fly through environments of great and sudden altitudinal differences: make sure to get high or low in time.
Choose between different sizes of your own spaceship, either for more graphical detail or being smaller and niftier.
Graphics are well-done: multicoloured objects and background, and a good frame-rate.
Sound is chunky and reminds us of the arcade-machines of the very early eighties.
The game is difficult, but gives tons of intense shooting.
I have not played the arcade-original, so can't really say whether it is close to that.
But as 5200-title it provides an excellent addition of horizontal-scrolling shooters.

If you're into that genre, and loves 5200-gaming,- you should really consider picking up a copy of 'Scramble' 2019!

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