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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Atari 2600)

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Title Screen

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Developer: Atari, Inc.
Publisher: Atari, Inc.
Platform: Atari 2600
Released in US: December 1982

CopyrightIcon.png This game has hidden developer credits.

Based on the hit film, the Atari 2600 E.T. is notorious for its reputation as one of the worst games ever, partly due to being made in five weeks so Atari could get it out in time for Christmas. This, much like the company's attempt at Pac-Man the previous year, failed big-time - and is often cited as one of the leading factors behind the Video Game Crash of 1983.

Reputation aside, it's generally agreed that Howard Scott Warshaw (the game's programmer) and Jerome M. Domurat (the game's graphic artist) did the best they could with the very limited development time handed to them.

Developer Credits

Five weeks was still enough time to slip in a few Easter eggs.

Howard Scott Warshaw


Collect the "H" (ET2600HPiece.png) phone piece, give Elliot 7 pieces of candy, then revive the flower. It will change into a Yar (from Yars' Revenge) and fly away.


Do this again in the next round, but collect the "S" (ET2600SPiece.png) phone piece instead. The flower will change into Indiana Jones (from the game Raiders of the Lost Ark).


Repeat this a third time, collecting the "W" (ET2600WPiece.png) phone piece instead. The flower will remain, but "HSW3" (Howard Scott Warshaw's 3rd game) will appear in the bottom status bar.

Jerome Domurat


On game #1, give Elliot 1 candy. Whenever both E.T. and Elliot are on the screen with 8 pits, "JD" will appear in the top status bar.

(Source: Digital Press, Ronnie Dingman, Thomas Jentzsch)