Scramble - Atari 400/800/XL/XE



Cartridge Style:  Charcoal (Translucent)        Light Gray (Opaque)      
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.
  • 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 fire button. Selecting Missiles will assign missiles to the joystick fire button and bombs to any keyboard key. Selecting Both will assign both missiles and bombs to the joystick fire button. Note: A genuine Sega Genesis/Megadrive controller can be used as well, allowing for two distinct fire buttons. Third-party Genesis-compatible controllers may overheat so we do not recommend their use. Instead, we suggest using a Joy 2B+ compatible joystick if you wish to use a controller with two buttons.
  • 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.


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Choose Cartridge Style

You can purchase Scramble in one of two cartridge styles: a translucent charcoal color or an opaque light gray color. Both are pictured below. You can choose which style you prefer at the top of the page. There is no price difference between the two styles. If you do not make a selection, you will receive the translucent charcoal cartridge shell by default.

Scramble Cartridge Styles

Get a 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.

Scramble Box

Additional Information

Scramble includes game cartridge and full-color, 16-page manual, and professionally printed box.

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
Lord Thag on 07/09/2021 10:10am
I have a ton of home ports of this game, on a ton of consoles, both original and homebrew, and this one is probably my favorite of them all. It has a ton of options to change challenge level, ship size, level vertical size, and several other options to tweak the game to your liking or make it more kid friendly (spousal selling point for those that need one lol). The game plays wonderfully well, and will take advantage of a second button if you're rocking genesis stick like I am. Control is tight, graphics are sharp, and the entire package feels very arcade-like. If you like scramble, this one is a must by. If you are not a scramble fan, this one may not win you over. Personally, I feel this is near the top of the list of arcade ports, up there with Bosconian and Donkey Kong.

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5.0 Out Of 5 (5.0 / 5.0), 2