The Activision Decathlon is a sports game written by David Crane for the Atari 2600 and published by Activision in 1983. It was ported to the Atari 8-bit family, Atari 5200, Commodore 64, ColecoVision, and MSX. Up to four players compete in the ten different events of a real-life decathlon, either in sequence or individually.
The Activision Decathlon - Pole Vault (Atari 2600)
The game became somewhat notorious for the amount of wear or damage inflicted upon console controllers, namely the Atari 2600 version where rapid back-and-forth movement of the joystick propels the athlete down the track. A player whose score met or exceeded the values below could send photo documentation to receive an Activision Decathlon Club patch in one of the colors of an Olympic medal: 8,600 points (Bronze), 9,000 points (Silver) and 10,000 points (Gold).
Shortly after release, Activision's Decathlon drew comparisons to Konami's popular arcade game Hyper Olympic (Track & Field), which was introduced at the Amusement Machine Show a month later in September 1983. According to Cash Box magazine, several people claimed there were 'cursory similarities' between the two games.
The Atari 2600 version of Decathlon was reviewed by Video magazine in its 'Arcade Alley' column where it was described as 'an absolute triumph of imaginative programming' and as 'a masterwork'. Computer and Video Games rated the VCS version 92% while giving the ColecoVision version a 93% score.
In 1985, the game appeared at number-two on the Atari 8-bit chart in the United Kingdom. The game was later reissued simply as Decathlon by the UK budget label Firebird. It was included in the 2002 PlayStation 2 compilation Activision Anthology.
Find digital download of this game on
This version of The Activision Decathlon was designed for Atari 2600, which was commercially very successful video game console of second generation produced by Atari from 1977 to 1992. It was the first console that used removable memory modules with games. At the time of its greatest fame, more than 30 million units of this console were sold for about $ 200 a piece. To date, the game library for this console contains nearly 1,000 original games. More information about the
Atari 2600 can be found here.
Recommended Game Controllers:
You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB joystick that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a joystick, buy a suitable USB controller on Amazon or AliExpress or in some of your favorite online stores.
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for The Activision Decathlon. 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 The Activision Decathlon are summarized in the following table:
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