Thrust+ Platinum - Atari 2600



The Resistance is about to launch a major offensive against the Intergalactic Empire. In preparation for this, we have captured several battle-grade starships, all we lack are the essential power sources for these formidable craft, Klystron Pods. The Resistance would like to commission you, Captain, to retrieve these pods from the Empire's stockade planets.

Many of the pods are stored deep under the planet surface and are heavily protected by batteries of "Limpet" guns, powered by a nearby nuclear power plant. By firing shots at the power plant, the guns can be temporarily disabled. The more shots fired at the nuclear reactor, the longer the guns will take to recharge allowing you to slip past their defenses. Warning, should you fire too many shots at the reactor, it will become critical, giving you just ten seconds to clear the planet before it is destroyed. Remember, we need those pods. DO NOT LEAVE THE PLANET WITHOUT ONE. Of course, if you have retrieved the pod and feel like wasting the planet, the Resistance will reward your efforts. Once you have retrieved the pod, proceed directly to low orbit where we will jump you to the next stockade.

Intelligence reports indicate that further into the enemy system, they have engineered planets with REVERSE GRAVITY and something...even more deadly...

About Thrust+ Platinum

XYPE programmers Thomas Jentzsch and Paul Slocum have joined forces up to create Thrust+ Platinum, an updated version of Thomas Jentzsch's Atari 2600 port of the Commodore 64 classic, which itself took cues from the Atari coin-op game Gravitar. Thrust+ Platinum is now enhanced with a great title theme (listen to it here) composed by Rob Hubbard (who created the original theme for the Commodore 64 version), and adapted to the 2600 by Paul Slocum. Several additional audio enhancements have been added as well, bringing still further polish to what was already one of the finest homebrew games on the 2600. Additionally, a new label and manual have been designed by David Exton, who has been the creative force behind artwork gracing many popular homebrew games.

Thrust+ Platinum is the latest iteration of Thomas Jentzsch's popular Atari 2600 conversion of the Commodore 64 game Thrust. Fans of Gravitar will feel right at home in Thrust+ Platinum, and this is a sophisticated and challenging game for the 2600. Thrust+ Platinum also supports a wide range of controllers, including joysticks, driving controllers, CBS Booster Grip, and a 2600-compatible foot pedal controller.

AtariVox Support

An AtariVox, AtariVox+, or SaveKey can be used with Thrust+ Platinum to store your high scores. If an AtariVox-compatible device is connected, the high score will be saved for each game variation (1-5) and will automatically be loaded when the Atari 2600 is powered up.

Additional Information

Thrust+ Platinum includes the game cartridge and manual. Supports both NTSC and PAL television formats.

'Thrust' theme composed by Rob Hubbard, adapted by Paul Slocum, © High Technology Publishing Ltd. (

Author Thomas Jentzsch
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick, Driving Controller
Cartridge Size 16K
Label and Manual Dave Exton
Packaging and Logo Design Jah Fish
Roger on 10/23/2022 12:45am
Wow, what shall I say what hasn't been said already? Every word of praise is true! I played Thrust yesterday night for the first time at all and I went "full experience mode" with the control options including foot pedal and driving controller. This game seems to be ment to be played this way and it blew me away!
After more than 20 homebrews and dozens of official releases I might have gotten to the point where I finally played the best game on this console that ever existed! A masterpeace!
Keep in mind: the games physics are pretty complex to get used to for some people. In my case, it fits like a good old worn pair of pants. This game will let me come back for years!
Paul Nieland on 10/10/2019 11:54am
I can only saw that I agree with all other reviewers. I played Thrust first time on a C64, later on a ZX Spectrum, later on a Thrust kinda clone called: Oids . And now its even Great on the 2600 !!! Great work Thomas! my both thumbs are up !
Dion Olsthoorn on 11/05/2018 01:39pm
The graphics and music are amazing, and the game-play is even better!
If I could rate this game with 5 stars, I would. It is in a league of its own.

This game got me hooked on my '2600 for weeks now; it's that good!
And it is so satisfying to pick up a pod and leave the planet!

Note that I play this game with a foot pedal and a driving controller, which feels very natural when battling the gravity. Using a foot pedal really gives you that feeling of being captain of the space ship.

If I have to choose a single favorite homebrew game, then this is it.
Gray Defender on 09/02/2017 11:32am
This is an extremely well designed and fun homebrew game. It also has one of the best opening musical scores of any game I have played, a catchy tune. It is my understanding this version supports numerous controllers including an Atari 2600 compatible foot pedal controller.

You have been tasked with recovering pods off of far-away planets before you run out of fuel and before the planet goes nuclear. Your ship whose design seems to borrow from Asteroids, rotates in all directions allowing you to shoot in all angles. The difference here being you have to contend with the relentless pull of gravity.

Therefore you must counter that force by using the games namesake, "Thrust". You have to be careful with the over application of thrust because you do have a limited amount of fuel. Your fuel collection is cumulative, meaning your fuel does not reset after the completion of a level, so once you run out the game is over. You earn a new ship every 10,000 points...

This game is clever, has polish and again, is extremely fun. There are five game variations that adjust the difficulty. This is my favorite homebrew game for the Atari 2600. Highly recommended. For more, check out my video review here:
Luke "Mr. Beefy" Morris on 07/19/2017 01:06pm
This is one of the first homebrew s I had ever purchased. It was a really good choice. It reminds me of a 2600 version of the NES game Solar Jetman.

Gameplay: Unfortunately I do not own a footpedal so I only played with the joystick. I feel like this game would be easier with a driving controller but u fortunately that was not an option. Even missing that moving the ship is very nice. Main problem comes when trying to rotate, thrust, and then need to shield. Otherwise controls feel good and gameplay is fun and arcade like challenging. Game physics are great too.

Sound: This game has great opening music and while sounds are simple they are adequate and good for the game.

Graphics: This is a nice looking game and the design fits the gameplay.

Final thoughts: I really like this game but I feel the joystick is a limitation to the game. It really feels like a multibutton game which is why my assumption is the best way to play is probably with the pedal and driving controller.

This is a great game for your 2600 library. It is difficult but still fun. Glad this was one of my first homebrew experiences!
Paul Verrall on 10/26/2015 07:25am
I've had the DC Edition for about 2 months now and it has me hooked. I struggled at first with the joystick controls but now it's become second nature. I will try the footpedals when I get some. I like the way the game eases you in with the first two levels being straightforward affairs. They are good for practicing control with the thrusters, especially for carrying the pod. That thing can bring you crashing into walls if you're not paying attention. Every time that happens it is my fault. I never feel as if the game is being unfair. The sounds are nothing special but are perfectly suited to the gameplay. Graphically, the game is crisp and easy on the eye. The delayed scrolling doesn't really have any effect on gameplay and is a great solution to the problem the console has with horizontal scrolling. Overall this is a fantastic conversion of an old classic and I recommend it to anyone who likes a tough but fair challenge. If you do and haven't got the game, what are you waiting for.
Steven Ramirez on 10/02/2015 11:31pm
This was one of my earliest homebrew purchases and to this day, remains in my top 3 of favorite homebrew titles. Upon inserting the cartridge, you are instantly captivated by the amazing theme music and vector style graphics. This sounds and looks great, but more importantly, the gameplay is great! You can choose from a number of controller options (I prefer the foot pedal w/ driving controller) that make this challenging game, a joy to play. Trust me, when you lose your last life, you will want to immediately hit reset and take in the cool sound of your ship as it re-spawns for a new battle against the Intergalactic Empire.
This game may be hard, but the game play is accurate and smooth, which leads to many hours of solid replay ability.
Do yourself a favor and buy this game. Once you play it, you won't want to stop.
John O'Donnell on 07/26/2015 10:33pm
Hard to believe this is running on an Atari 2600. In my case plugged into my 7800.

While the game can be a challenge with the 7800 controller it just adds more to the skill needed to be able to kill / avoid the bad guys then grab the pod and that is where the fun really starts. The pod adds weight to your ship and acts like a pendulum so when you think you are home free having grabbed the pod you then have to negotiate tunnels and actually use the pods momentum to move you sideways.

I played the game when it originally launched in the UK on the Sinclair Spectrum and cannot recommend this game highly enough now its on the 2600

I got up to level 3 and hope to get way further

Thank you Thomas for a quality piece of work.
StanJr on 11/08/2009 03:45pm
This game almost gets a 4 from me and I'll tell you why: I am terrible at these kinds of games. Gravitar is a spectacular game I just cannot get into because it requires patience and a level of finesse I do not possess. Thrust almost falls into this category, but does not for one very important reason: learning curve.

If you are like me and have difficulty with games of this ilk, Thrust is not inapproachable. As a matter of fact, it might be the very game that makes you better at such games. Thrust features various difficulty levels that allow you to learn the controls and improve your skills before tossing you into the fray. It is for this reason, Thrust is a definite 5.

All of that aside, this game is long considered Thomas Jentzsch's masterpiece and it is not hard to see why. Incredibly responsive controls in a game that demands precision, exceptional graphics and sound, engaging gameplay and a degree of challenge that begs for "just one more game." Thrust is the whole pie.

I was leery of Thrust for a lot of years because of the nature of its gameplay, but finally gave it a try and am very glad I did. Buy with confidence.
Daniel Cremins on 03/09/2008 09:12pm
I had heard great things about Thrust. The game is almost unanimously considered the greatest homebrew game ever on the Atari 2600. For some reason, the game didn’t interest me, and so I put off purchasing the game. Man, I didn’t know what I was missing.

I had heard that this game was difficult, but I didn’t let that stop me from buying the game. The reviews were exceptional, so I figured I’d give it a shot, especially during the Atari Age holiday sale. When I first put the cartridge in, I noticed how beautiful the title screen was…a very good sign. I first began playing on skill level 1, and it became clear just how difficult this game really was. Over and over again I crashed, was shot down, or ran out of fuel. When I finally made it to the second stage, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, I died pretty much immediately. This game is HARD. It is one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played, especially on the later stages and higher skill levels, but I must emphasize something. Although the game is hard, it is not frustrating, at least not to me. The game is so much fun that when I lose all my lives, I don’t mind resetting the game. I WANT to replay the stages I’ve already cleared. And don’t worry. As hard as the game is, there is an easy mode on skill level 5, made specifically for people like me. A little practice here, and you can graduate to the harder skill levels.

This game is flawless. The stages are incredibly well designed, the controls are spot-on, and the vector graphics are beautiful. Top it off with Paul Slocum’s music in this version and you have yourself one amazing game. Theoretically, this game should not have been possible on this system, and certainly not as good as this. The only fault I could find was an occasional glitch in the graphics, like an occasional roll of the screen between stages, but these are barely noticeable. If you are like I was, and are unsure about buying this game, primarily because of the slightly high price tag, do yourself a favor and buy it. The high price is because the game includes an absolutely gorgeous box, yet I’d pay $35 for the cartridge alone. It’s that good.
Darrell Spice on 09/16/2007 05:02pm
In Thrust+ Platinum you are part of The Resistance, who is about to make a major offensive against the Intergalactic Empire. Your mission is to maneuver your ship through underground caverns and tunnels in order to acquire Klystron Pods that are needed to power The Resistance's starships. As if gravity and tight spaces weren't enough, the Empire has strategically placed nuclear powered Limpet guns along your path.

When you first turn it on - wow - who knew the Atari could sound so good! Paul Slocum, of Tree Wave(a duo that uses an Atari VCS as one of their instruments), really outdid himself with the title screen music. Emulators play it back OK, but it's best heard on a real Atari.

The graphics are done in a "vector" style; which, while pixelated, work just fine(it's also the way the original Thrust was created back in 87). There's occasional flicker, but it's kept to a minimum and not at all distracting when it does occur. The striped background works well to hide the chunkiness of the Atari's playfield graphics.

The flight physics are exceptionally well done, the gravity and acceleration feel just like a modern video game. It really shines once you've acquired a Klystron Pod - the heavy pod swinging on the end of a tether reminds me a lot of Space Duel's joined ship mode.

The controls are a tad complicated at first, due to the fire button changing function from "fire" to "thrust" when you've pulled the stick down to activate your shield/tractor beam. You get used to it after a few games and it becomes second nature. Besides the Joystick you can use a CBS Booster Grip, a Driving Controller + Foot Pedals or even a Joystick + Foot Pedals. While I don't have foot pedals, I recently acquired a CBS Booster Grip so I gave it a spin for this review. The Booster Grip adds 2 buttons in a flight stick handle that slides down over the joystick. One button is used for thrust, the other for fire and they do not change function based on the state of the shield/tractor beam. While it was neat, I'd played so often with just a joystick that I kept pushing forward for thrust(probably also influenced by many years of playing Space War).

There's excellent ramping of the difficulty level. The first level is very basic, just a Fuel Cell, a Limpet Gun, Nuclear Plant and Klystron Pod in a shallow cave - just enough to learn the basics without having to fly through any narrow tunnels. Each level after that increases the number of Limpet Guns and enlarges the cave/tunnel system you must navigate to find the Klystron Pod.

The manual and box(yes, a box!) are also top notch, with some excellent artwork by David Exton.
Nathan Strum on 03/28/2006 04:25am
Thrust+ is one of the best games ever programmed for the 2600. It's a little more expensive than other homebrews, but it's worth every penny. The graphics are incredible, and the gameplay is absolutely flawless. Thrust+ is certainly a challenging game, but not unfairly so. The gravity and momentum that affects your ship feels just right, and even as the heavy Klystron pods you have to rescue cause you to careen into a canyon wall, you'll still marvel at the physics of the game. The sense of accomplishment you get when you master a new level is exhilarating. Emulators just don't do Thrust+ justice - this is a game that has to be played on real hardware to get the full impact of it. The fact that it comes in a box is the icing on the cake. It's been 20 years since I got to experience the anticipation that comes with opening up a brand new, boxed 2600 game, and this one didn't disappoint.
Raul Torres on 01/03/2006 10:44am
There always is a single game that just shows off how good a console is. A game so bad ass, that the public just flocks to buy the console to the point that you can't find it anywhere on the shelves. Thrust is just that BAD ASS game on the 2600. This game does come with a steep learning curve, it is hard, but nothing a little practice wont help you master. Graphics are phenomenal, sounds are awesome, game play superb, controls are excellent (with foot controller). I can't believe this game is only $35... at first I thought it was expensive... but now that I own it I realize it was a bargain. Atari should consider a Flashback 3.0 with 26007800 backwards compatibility and Thrust as the driving marketing tool to draw attention to their new platform... ok I am reaching a bit... but that is my honest opinnion of this game... BUY IT!
John Payson on 12/22/2005 11:51pm
"This is a 2600!?"

There aren't enough complimentary adjectives and adverbs in the English language to describe this game. If is so wonderfully positively awesomely amazingly stupendous that it defies description. It does take a little getting used to at first, but the graphics and gameplay--especially the tethered Klystron pod--provide a unique challenge. The title screen music sounds bad in emulation, but the real machine it's so good it's hard to believe it's coming from a 2600.
Bill Loguidice on 03/26/2004 01:57pm
I picked this up at the PhillyClassic 5 as a bundle (the same one offered online) with the foot pedals. I'm not a huge fan of Indy 500, though I appreciate the 360 degree paddle controller. With that said, I ABSOLUTELY got this to play with the racing controller and foot pedals. The day after the PhillyClassic my sister had come over and her, my wife and myself had a blast playing it TOGETHER. One of us controlled the ship's rotation (paddle), another the shooting (foot pedal), and another the thrust and tractor/beam shield (foot pedal). It was a blast trying to coordinate all the controls, which were pretty accurate. The sound is sparse, but excellent and the visuals are top-notch for an Atari 2600 game. Did I mention it's a 16k game for such a low price? Another awesome fact...

Anyway, I also tried it solo, which was also an incredible experience. The gameplay is simple and straightforward to understand and master, but completing each level is a high challenge indeed. This to me ranks among the best ALL-TIME Atari 2600 games.

I'll DEFINITELY be writing a review for the online publication I'm associated with. Wonder if it will be a positive one? ;-)

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