Kool-Aid Man [Model MT4648]

Atari 2600 Cart. published 35 years ago by M Network

Emulated in MAME !
Information for the following ROM(s): koolaidm


Kool-Aid Man © 1983 M Network


Model MT4648

Use your Left Joystick Controller to move Kool-Aid Man. (The Right Joystick is not used in this game.) Be sure your controller cable is securely plugged into the back of the game console. Hold the controller with the word TOP facing the top of the T.V. screen.
- Push joystick LEFT to move Kool-Aid Man LEFT.
- Push joystick RIGHT to move Kool-Aid Man RIGHT.
- Push joystick FORWARD to move Kool-Aid Man UP.
- Push joystick BACK to move Kool-Aid Man DOWN.
Note: The red button is not used in this game!


On December 6, 1982, all of the programmers and graphic artists were herded into a conference room and shown a series of TV commercials -- the new Kool-Aid ad campaign. It was announced that Marketing had made a tie-in deal to release Intellivision and M Network Atari 2600 Kool-Aid Man cartridges. The games were scheduled to be ready in about 6 months, which meant that programming had to begin immediately. Worse, they wanted game-screen mockups to appear in the 1983 Mattel Electronics catalog at the Consumer Electronics Show -- one month away. A two-week contest to come up with the best game concept was announced. Separate ideas were developed for Intellivision and Atari 2600.

This led to a confrontation with Marketing. The programmers' viewpoint was that the features of a game should be tailored to the system it would be played on, to take full advantage of the system's strengths. Marketing, on the other hand, wanted games designed for multiple systems, with the features being the same on each system. If a game couldn't be ported to other systems, it shouldn't be done on any system.

The programmers argued that this meant all games would have to be designed for the lowest common denominator -- the Atari 2600. Marketing argued that keeping the features the same would make games easier to advertise and make word-of-mouth among customers more favorable.

This was the programmers' chance to make a stand, insisting that because of the tight schedule, the Intellivision and Atari versions of Kool-Aid Man would have to be developed independently and differently -- there was no time to create a design that could be implemented on both systems.

Reluctantly, Marketing agreed, and two entirely different versions of Kool-Aid Man were developed, designed to take best advantage of each system. The winning design for the Intellivision version came from programmer Vladimir Hrycenko. Steve Tatsumi did the design and program for Atari Kool-Aid Man.

Programming won the battle, but Marketing won the war -- they never again allowed different versions of a game tailored for different systems.


Your score at the top-center of the screen will increase by 100 points for every Thirstie you catch.

Timing: There are 30 Thirsties trying to drink the water out of your pool. If you catch every one of them before they drink all the water, you WIN and automatically move on to the next level of difficulty.

If the Thirsties drink all the water out of your swimming pool before you catch every one of them, the game is over.

Bonus Points: Bonus points are awarded for the time left on the clock at the end of each round. So, catch all the Thirsties as fast as you can for the best score possible!


When Kool-Aid Man gets bounced around by the Thirsties, relax! It will only last a few seconds. Just be ready to take over when he settles down.

Go after every Ingredient you can. While you're unaffected by the moving Thirsties, you can catch a lot of other Thirsties who are stealing the water out of your pool.


Programmer: Steve Tatsumi

Game's ROM.