K.O. Cruiser - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL60      

K.O. Cruiser is a first-person boxing game that matches you against six different boxers with different strengths, weaknesses and styles. Do you have what it takes to be the champ? Is the Gold Belt within your reach? Let’s find out!

You'll face six different opponents in K.O. Cruiser, each with his unique traits and special moves:

  • Tomato Ken
  • K.C. Nova
  • Russ Tick
  • Major Concussion
  • Wally B.
  • Rod Ickle

You move your boxer with the joystick controller to move around the ring, throw punches, and guard against punches. You can also quickly dodge left or right to avoid an incoming punch from your opponent. If you're knocked down, you can attempt to get back up and into the fight by quickly tapping the joystick fire button.

K.O. Cruiser features three levels of difficulty so you can continue to be challenged after you've mastered your opponents on easier levels!

Includes cartridge and 8-page, full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL60 television formats, please specify above when ordering.

Author Devin D. Cook
Number of Players 1
Controller Joystick
Cartridge Size 32K
Label and Manual Design Nathan Strum
Dan Wolak on 09/03/2022 11:18am
K.O. Cruiser is a fun boxing game that can be considered almost a port or a de-make of the big N's Punch-Out. There are 6 different opponents to fight, in order. The first is very easy to beat, but the difficulty ramps up very quickly providing a pretty good challenge. It took me a little bit to figure out the strategy to beat the second opponent, but I'm stuck on the third now. Your fighter appears as an outline, like in the arcade Punch-Out. The opponents are very well done, large colorful sprites with facial expressions. The background is sparse, however, and the musical tunes are a little harsh. Also, there are no intermission screens, like in the NES Punch-Out, and your fighter can only throw head punches. Still, this is a well-done game and fans of the console or arcade Punch-Out should give it a try. The manual looks professionally done and provides a funny background story for all of the opponents and a few gameplay tips, as well
Lucas 'Mr. Beefy' Morris on 07/01/2017 10:21am
K.O. Cruiser is an excellent boxing game. Unlike Activision's Boxing, this is single player and plays much like Nintendo's Punch-Out (which is something I was skeptical of being done on the 2600).

Graphics: Your boxer is just an outline but this works well and allows you to see your opponent. The opponents look great and their animations are excellent. I personally love hitting them and seeing what goofy looking face they will have.

Sounds: Each opponent has their own intro music and adds to their distinct personality. Music during the match is simple and effective and sound effects for punches or special moves are satisfying.

Gameplay: Your boxer can block, dodge, walk, and punch left and punch right. It sounds like a lot for a one button controller but it works surprisingly well. Dodging takes the most time to learn but isn't hard to catch on.

Each fight consists of three three minute rounds. This game is all about strategy and counter punching. Each fighter has their own specials and style so some patience will be needed to gain the upper hand. It is amazing how well this works on the 2600 hardware

There are three difficulty settings. Bronze, Silver, and Gold. My only gripe is that after you master the Bronze you can go straight for the Gold which ramps up both the speed and power of your opponents.

This is an excellent boxing game, which is a blast to play. If you played and loved the old Punch-Out this is an easy purchase. Hopefully we will get to see a sequel in the future. If we do, I know I will be purchasing it.
BenjaminR on 03/20/2014 02:11pm
A great boxing game that looks like it was inspired by Nintendo’s Punch Out. It takes a few rounds to learn how to use the controls effectively, but once you are adjusted you will have an easy time beating the first opponent to a bloody pulp. Every opponent has their own pattern that you have to learn in order to defeat them, just like Punch Out did. These are easily some of the best graphics you will ever see on an Atari 2600. The game also features extremely well designed artwork on the label and in the hilarious instruction manual as well. If you saw this game in a collection, you would never know it was from 2010. I especially love the artwork on this game and want to mention it in this review! One final note about the display, I’m using an RF unit on a 2003 Sylvania TV and the screen sometimes has a stuttering effect (it hops up and down every few seconds), but experienced no such effect on my friends 2010 flat screen television, so you may experience some funky display issues with this game if you are still using RF, but probably nothing an A/V mod wouldn’t fix.
Ivan Hornbeck on 08/05/2013 08:36am
K.O. Cruiser is the best boxing game that I have seen on the 2600. It looks like it was inspired by punch out
Nathan Strum on 12/15/2010 01:32pm
K.O. Cruiser is a boxing game that harkens back to the arcade classic Punch-Out!! You control the transparent outline of a boxer, throwing punches and dodging blows from your opponents. You win by either knocking them out or going the distance and getting the judges' decision. If you get knocked down, you have only seconds to get back up before you're counted out.

K.O. Cruiser is a game that I never expected to see attempted on the 2600. The transparent boxer works extremely well, especially considering the 2600's graphics limitations. All of the opponents look terrific, with excellent detail and funny expressions when they get hit, and they all exhibit distinct personalities and fighting styles. The controls work well, although all you can do is essentially punch, block and dodge (you can't choose between a body blow or uppercut, for example), but for this game nothing else seems really necessary. The sound is good throughout the game, with each opponent having their own musical theme when introduced. I wish that AtariVox support could have been added for the ring announcer, and to have opponents taunt you or respond when hit. There are only six opponents in the game, and while you'll probably get through the first few on the easy setting pretty quickly, in the higher difficulties you're going to find yourself on the canvas quite a lot.

K.O. Cruiser is an excellent game, well-worth buying whether you're into boxing or not. The game is a blast to play, the characters are a lot of fun, and there are difficulty levels suitable for any player. There are already sequels in the works, so we will get the chance to see more characters. With any luck, maybe we'll get AtariVox support at some point, too. Or at least some ring girls.
Curious Sofa on 09/15/2010 09:17pm
I really, really enjoy K.O. Cruiser. It is absolutely addictive to play, and it's really nicely drawn. The instruction book is hilarious, and it is clear a lot of love has gone into this. It's basically a 2600 version of Super Punch-Out, and it is awesome. I do only wish that the music was slightly improved; it's not awful, but it's definitely not Pressure Cooker or Lead. Nonetheless.....good game, a definite must-own for any fan of Punch-Out.

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