Arcade Video game published 45 years ago by Atari, Inc.

Listed in MAME

Avalanche screenshot

Avalanche © 1978 Atari.

Avalanche is a 2-D game of skill. You control a multi-storied platform with a spinner-knob. Your goal is to prevent the falling rocks from ever reaching the ground. There are six rows of rocks to deal with. You start with a 6-storied platform and you lose one platform per row of rocks cleared. You score points for those rocks you prevent from reaching the ground. Of course, the farther the row of rocks, the smaller and faster they become. Your ultimate goal is to get enough points so that you can continue your game should you lose your first one. Get your hard hat out and prepare to catch some rogue rocks.

Goodies for Avalanche
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Cabinet dimensions : 66'' (168cm) high x 26'' (66cm) wide x 27'' (68cm) deep. Monitor : 23'' B/W.

Game ID : 030574

Main CPU : MOS Technology M6502 (@ 756 Khz)
Sound Chips : Discrete circuitry.

Screen orientation : Horizontal
Video resolution : 256 x 240 pixels
Screen refresh : 60.00 Hz
Palette Colors : 2

Players: 2 (Alternatively)
Control: Rotating knob (LEFT and RIGHT)
Buttons: 1 (SERVE)

Avalanche shipped in a cool looking black and white cabinet. It has three-color painted sideart which shows a group of falling boulders. This title does not have a marquee, instead the monitor bezel extends all the way to the top of the cabinet (this game was seldom converted because of that). The monitor bezel is decorated with a brownish scene of dirt and rocks, and has a clear semi-circular are that shows the black and white monitor within. The game uses a set of color overlays to simulate color on the otherwise monochrome screen. The control panel is decorated with a brown overlay showing large cracks in the earth, and it has a single optical spinner mounted in the center, with buttons far off to each side.


Released in April 1978, selling at an MSRP of $1195.

1978 proved to be a pivotal year in the arcade industry. Atari was still the big name in arcade games, but that title would soon be threatened. A relatively unknown company out of Japan called Taito partnered up with the well known company Midway in the United States. The game that took the world by storm was called "Space Invaders". It proved to be such a huge success, quarter shortages were reported due to all the gameplay. This also meant that other arcades that came out during 1978 received significantly less patronage. Therefore, Avalanche didn't do very well at the arcades. Many of Atari's games from this period were based more on the skill of the player then anything else. Although Atari released many memorable arcade games after this period, times would never be the same. With the big videogame collapse during the early 80's coupled with poor management, Atari started a downward spiral it would never recover from.

This game was released in Italy by Sidam as "Cascade".

David Nelson of holds the official record for this game with 2,453 points on March 21, 2004.

The score for each rock corresponds to its row number. Rows are numbered 1-6 starting from the lowest row and moving up. Therefore, the rocks values are
Row 1 1 point
Row 2 2 points
Row 3 3 points
Row 4 4 points
Row 5 5 points
Row 6 6 points

* When you start the game, you will see six rows of rocks. Each row contains 32 rocks in it. At the bottom of the screen you will have your six-story platform to catch the falling rocks. Gameplay starts as soon as you press the SERVE button or after five seconds, whichever comes first. First, you must know how the game works so you can better play it :
1) You start with a six-story platform. Each time a row of 32 rocks is cleared (either by you catching it or it hits the ground), you lose one story and the remaining platform(s) become shorter.
2) Every two rows of rocks (64 rocks) become smaller then the previous two rows. In addition, they travel faster down toward your platform(s).
3) If you happen to clear out all six rows of rocks, the game will reload the top with more rocks. You will now start with a three-story platform. If you clear those rows, it will be a two-story platform. The final re-loading of rocks will give you a single platform to catch rocks with. You can only have a maximum of three rock refills (not counting the initial rocks at the beginning of the game).

* The maximum score you can get on each level is 687 points.

* When you are playing the game, only concentrate on catching the rocks with your bottom platform. If you have a multi-storied platform, you will catch a lot of the rocks before they even reach the bottom platform. Of course, in the later rows, this won't be the case.

* If you happen to get a miss, all the rocks that were falling will be placed back at the top (including the one you missed).

* Learn not to spin the control knob. This prevents you from losing control of where your platform is. Instead, learn how to turn it gently to where you need to go. There is enough time to move from side to side.

* Speaking of placement, always try to keep near the middle. That way you can react faster to where the rocks are falling instead of going all the way left or right all the time.

* Whenever you either clear a screen or get enough points for extended play, there is a couple of second delay while the board sets up.


Designed & programmed by : Dennis Koble


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Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.
F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc