🐳 New! Moby v2023.05.26 update


aka: Joust: A Game of Combat, Action and Skill

Description official descriptions

In Joust, players take control of a knight with a lance who rides their flying ostrich (or stork, for Player 2) to do battle against computer-controlled evil knights who ride atop vultures.

Players must flap their steed's wings to hit the enemy from a higher jousting point to destroy the vulture and its rider. Once the enemy has been hit, an egg falls to one of the platforms below. The heroic knights must destroy the eggs before they hatch and release new and increasingly more difficult knights. The three strengths of enemy knights are Bounder (red knight), Hunter (white knight), and Shadow Lord (blue knight). These enemy knights are not the only challenge to be found in the game. Players must also contend with crumbling platforms, lava trolls who attempt to pull knights into the fire, and the dreaded "unbeatable"(?) pterodactyl.

The game was novel for its time for being one of the few two-player simultaneous games in the arcade.

Groups +



Credits (Arcade version)

10 People

Support Software
Cabinet Art



Subject User Date
Should be a new group "The Joust series" RetroArchives.fr (707) 2021-11-22 22:45:28


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Joust appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


One "bug" in the program's design became a strategic advantage to players in the know, later touted by producers as a "hidden feature". On the right side of the screen there are two platforms situated so that one is above and slightly overhangs another. If a player moves across the lower of the two platforms, the player will hit the upper one and be halted. However, if a player flies their bird so that its belly skims the lower platform low enough that its legs do not extend, the bird will "belly flop" across the width of the platform, and, illogically, "squeeze" through the meeting point of the two platforms, shooting out below the upper platform.

Skilled players took advantage of this flaw as a gaming strategy: a player could suddenly pop out below the platform and land on an enemy knight below (or a competing player), catching him by surprise. Game creator John Newcomer stated in interviews that this flaw in the game's design was so popular, they decided to intentionally leave it in and it became a permanent part of the game.

There was originally a second bug which allowed the pterodactyl to be easily defeated by perching on a particular ledge and turning to face the adversary as they entered the screen. When this bug was discovered Williams released a new ROM for the arcade cabinets to rectify it.

Launch game

Joust was one of the "Fabulous Eleven" launch games for the Atari 7800.

Information also contributed by Nélio

Related Games

Draw Joust!
Released 2020 on iPhone, iPad, Android
Nelda Nockbladder's Anatomy Lesson
Released 1997 on Windows, Windows 3.x
Released 2010 on Xbox 360
Arcade Classic 4: Defender/Joust
Released 1995 on Game Boy, 1999 on Game Boy Color
Released 1983 on ZX Spectrum
Aussie Joker Poker
Released 1987 on Macintosh, DOS, Commodore 64...
Combat Arms
Released 2012 on Windows
Beyond Pearl Harbor: Pacific Warriors
Released 2000 on Windows
Field of Fire
Released 1984 on Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Apple II

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 4059


Know about this game? Add your expertise to help preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by jeff leyda.

Lynx, Atari 2600, Atari ST added by PCGamer77. Apple II added by saxabar. Palm OS, Xbox 360 added by Kabushi. Atari 8-bit added by ZZip. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Antstream added by lights out party. Atari 7800, Atari 5200, NES added by Servo. Macintosh added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Guy Chapman, jean-louis, Nélio, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack, ZeTomes, 64er.

Game added May 15th, 2001. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.