Joust is an arcade game developed by Williams Electronics and released in 1982. It is a platform game that features two-dimensional (2D) graphics. The player uses a button and joystick to control a knight
riding a flying ostrich. The object is to progress through levels by defeating groups of enemy knights riding buzzards.
John Newcomer led the development team, which included Bill Pfutzenrueter, Jan Hendricks, Python Anghelo, Tim Murphy, and John Kotlarik. Newcomer aimed to create a flying game with co-operative two-player gameplay, but wanted to avoid a
space theme, which was popular at the time. Staff worked within the technical limitations of the hardware (originally developed two years earlier for Williams' first game, Defender), excluding concepts and optimizing the visuals.
The game was well received in arcades and by critics, who praised the gameplay. The gameplay mechanics influenced titles by other developers. Joust was followed by a sequel three years later, and was ported to numerous home and portable
Joust is a platforming game where the player controls a yellow knight riding a flying ostrich or stork, from a third-person perspective. Using the two-way directional joystick and the button for flapping the ostrich's wings, the player
flies the knight amidst the floating rock platforms and above pools of lava; when maneuvering off the screen to either side, the player will continue its path reappearing from the opposite side. The rate at which the player repeatedly
presses the button causes the ostrich to fly upward, hover, or slowly descend.
The objective is to defeat groups of enemy knights riding buzzards that populate each level, referred to as a 'wave'. Upon completing a wave, a subsequent more-challenging wave will begin.
Players navigate the knight to collide with enemies. The elevation of an enemy in relation to the player's knight determines the outcome of the collision. If the protagonist is higher than the enemy, the villain is defeated and vice
versa. A collision of equal elevations results in the two knights bouncing off each other. A defeated enemy will turn into an egg that falls toward the bottom of the screen, which a player can collect for points. An egg that sits on a
platform long enough will hatch into a new knight; if the player does not pick him up, he will gain a new mount and must be defeated again.
The game features three types of enemy knights—Bounder, Hunter, and Shadow Lord—that are worth different amounts of points. A pterodactyl will appear after a predetermined time frame to hunt the hero.
A second player, controlling a blue knight on a stork, can join the game. The two players can either cooperatively complete the waves or attack each other while competitively defeating enemies. Home console versions use game controllers
with directional pads and analog sticks. PC versions used keyboard controls.
Find digital download of this game on
This version of Joust was designed for personal computers with operating system MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System),
which was operating system developed by Microsoft in 1981. It was the most widely-used operating system in the first half of the 1990s. MS-DOS was supplied
with most of the IBM computers that purchased a license from Microsoft. After 1995, it was pushed out by a graphically more advanced system - Windows and
its development was ceased in 2000. At the
time of its greatest fame, several thousand games designed specifically for computers with this system were created. Today, its development is no longer continue
and for emulation the free DOSBox emulator is most often used. More information about MS-DOS operating system can be found
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Joust. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Joust are summarized in the following table:
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