Canyon Bomber

Arcade Video game published 44 years ago by Atari, Inc.

Canyon Bomber screenshot

Listed and emulated in MAME !

Canyon Bomber © 1977 Atari.

Canyon Bomber is a 2-D shooter. You control either the blimp or the plane while dropping bombs on the rocks below. Your goal is to get the highest amount of points (either against the computer or another player). You are allowed so many misses before your game ends. Misses are counted as the times you do not hit any rocks. The scores for the rocks are directly proportional to the difficulty in hitting those rocks. This game boils down to precision bombing and thinking ahead as to where the next bomb will fall. Good luck in taking out all of the rocks in the canyon.

Goodies for Canyon Bomber
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Game ID : 009493-009504

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

Players : 2
Buttons : 1 (DROP)


Canyon Bomber was released in November 1977.

Atari was at the top of the arcade battle in 1977. Releasing no fewer then nine arcade games, Atari was the dominating force and standard that videogames were based on. Many of Atari's games were simple games of skill and hand-eye coordination.

Canyon Bomber is Howie's second Atari project ("Super Bug" was his first). The author describes his game as 'upside-down Breakout' and says it was a far superior two-player competitive game than when played one person versus the computer. He modified the "Sprint 2"'s circuitry, then programmed it.

David Nelson of Manchester, New Hampshire holds the official record for this game with 1399 points on November 17, 2007.

Goodies for Canyon Bomber
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(members only)

Scoring in this game is pretty simple, you get the points that are displayed on the rocks as you destroy them :
1 : One point
2 : Two points
3 : Three points
4 : Four points


* When you start the game, you will be on the left side of your screen in a blimp. If two players are playing, then player 1 controls the black blimp while player 2 controls the white blimp. If you are playing one player, then you control the black blimp. The goal is to get as many points as you can while avoiding misses. There are two types of aircraft in this game : Blimps and airplanes. You need to know the differences between them since your bombing accuracy is directly related to their movements.
1) Blimps tend to stay at higher altitudes and move slowly. This gives you more time to plan your bomb run.
2) Planes tend to stay at the middle and lower altitudes and move fast. This gives you very little time to plan your bomb run.

* In order to effectively drop bombs, there are a couple of things you should take into account :
1) Your forward speed will have a direct impact as to where the bomb lands. For example, you need to drop your bomb earlier to hit a specific target instead of dropping it when you are directly over the target. The reason is because the bomb will drift in the direction you are flying when it is dropped.
2) Your altitude has a lot to do with where your bombs will fall. The higher you are, the harder it will be to hit ground targets since the bomb will only drift so much from point one. Higher altitudes also tend to make the perspective harder when trying for rocks in valleys and on ledges.

* You can only take out the rocks you are headed toward. This may seem like common sense but sometimes people attempt to 'lob' a bomb over a hill on the valley floor hoping to hit the rocks just on the other side of the hill. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.

* Bombs don't 'wrap' around the screen. Your aircraft will go back and forth at random altitudes. Right when your aircraft turns for another pass, start planning on where you want to drop your next bomb.

* When the game first starts, you can take out four to five numbered rocks. As the game progresses, though, these numbers go down sharply.

* If you are fortunate enough to eliminate all the rocks in the canyon, the canyon will fill back up again. This will happen a maximum of three times (counting the first wave). After that, the game is over.

* The game is based on misses. If your opponent uses up all their misses, you can still continue until you use up all of your misses. The same is true if you use up all of your misses.

* Whenever you hit rocks under other rocks, those top rocks will settle to the next rock. In other words, you can blast the middle out of the rockpiles but they will still settle to the bottom of the canyon.

* Try to clear lanes to the three and four pointers for a higher score (The three and four points rocks are usually located on ledges or in narrow valleys).

* When you clear out half the rocks in the canyon, you will change over from the blimp to the airplane.


Designed and programmed by : Howard Delman (Howie)
Howard also designed the hardware for this game.


[US] Atari 2600 (1978) "Canyon Bomber [Model CX2607]"
Atari 2600 [EU] (1978) "Canyon Bomber [Model CX2607P]"


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