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User Reviews

A classic. PC Booter Tomer Gabel (4643)
Thou shalt kill those buzzards NES Katakis | カタキス (41332)
Another bullseye for the Lynx porting legacy. Lynx Trixter (9114)

Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
Apple II Awaiting 5 votes...
Arcade 10 3.5
Atari 2600 19 3.4
Atari 5200 8 3.9
Atari 7800 9 3.6
Atari 8-bit Awaiting 5 votes...
Atari ST 8 3.6
Lynx 9 4.0
Macintosh Awaiting 5 votes...
NES 21 3.2
Palm OS Awaiting 5 votes...
PC Booter 14 3.1
Xbox 360 Awaiting 5 votes...
Combined User Score 98 3.5

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Gentlemen, start your ostriches. If you can figure out how to do that, you're well on your way to playing one of the finest arcade adaptations of this or any other season. The controllers are perhaps the only thing about this otherwise fine game that is disappointing and, when you come right down to it, even they aren't that bad.
ArcadeAll Game Guide (1998)
Neither overly cute nor mind-numbingly violent, Joust is a highly enjoyable game requiring a deft touch, especially in later levels when enemies fill the screen.
Atari 7800Le Geek (Mar, 2009)
Joust on the 7800 combines near arcade quality graphics and sound with the pitch perfect difficulty of the 2600 port. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I prefer it to the arcade perfect versions you can get on more modern systems. The fact that the cart is very common makes it even more of a "must have" for the system. Just be sure to play with a traditional joystick.
Atari 8-bitThe Video Game Critic (Dec 28, 2002)
As a huge fan of the original arcade game, it's hard to find fault with this 8-bit version. Knights with lances on flying ostriches - what's not to like about that? Joust may not look too exciting at first glance, but once you play, you experience a unique test of skill that's brutally addictive. I can play this game all day! The graphics would have been better if the lancers were multi-colored, and that three-fingered lava troll doesn't look so hot, but otherwise this version is identical to the arcade. The two-player simultaneous action is especially fun. The sound effects are superb, and there are several difficulty levels to choose from. I've never really seen anybody "master" this game. And by the way, the Pterodactyl can be defeated.
Atari 7800The Video Game Critic (Mar 13, 2001)
Any video game historian will tell you that Joust is one of the greatest all-time video games. It's also one of the most imaginative, featuring ostrich-riding knights attempting to knock each other off of their mounts. And I'm happy to say that this version is nearly identical to the arcade, and there are four difficulty levels. My only complaint is that the Atari 7800 standard joysticks are not well suited to this type of game. The buttons on the side of the controllers aren't conducive to constant tapping required to flap the wings. Still, you can always just hook up an Atari 2600 joystick instead. Go for it.
Atari 2600The Video Game Critic (Apr 19, 2000)
Atari had to take a few liberties to shoehorn Joust into the Atari 2600, but it still offers the same addictive brand of gameplay.
LynxIGN (Jul 06, 1999)
Joust is another unbelievably excellent product from Shadowsoft. Players who never played the arcade title will be captivated by its simple rules, deep strategy, and fast action, while the legions of arcade Joust fans will be in video-gaming heaven!
Atari 5200The Video Game Critic (Dec 28, 2000)
It sounds overly simplistic, but it works remarkably well. Two players can cooperate to clear each wave together (the best way to play), or engage in cutthroat competitions. There's not much to criticize about this version (which is identical to the Atari home computer version, by the way). It delivers all the sights and sounds of the arcade, plus four levels of difficulty as well. The hand of the lava troll only has three fingers, but now I'm nitpicking. The 5200 controller is the only drawback, with slow response and a fire button that's not conducive to constant tapping. Overall this is a rock-solid translation of an old arcade favorite.
90 (UK) (Oct 26, 2007)
Endlessly ported, remade and showcased online, Joust is as easy to pick up and play as ever. A triumph for outlandish ideas wrapped in basic design, it holds up extremely well.
The Atari 8-bit conversion of Joust is very close to the original arcade game, the only thing that lets it down very slightly is the single colour sprites but this is a limitation of the system more than anything. Apart from that the graphics and sound are both very close to the original coin-op. Joust is a fantastic conversion and pretty much a must have game for the machine, especially if you want something to play with a friend!
LynxDefunct Games (Apr 02, 2005)
The Lynx version has everything the arcade has - great, colorful graphics, phenominal gameplay, easy control, etc. Although there are more animations on the Lynx version, and it sounds a little different, but it's certainly nothing to complain about. This game is also ComLynxable up to two players. Overall, a great game to have in your collection.
Although quirks and concessions abound in this Atari home version of Joust, it stands, nonetheless, as one of the best coin-op to cart translations in recent memory.
Atari STTilt (Apr, 1987)
Le graphisme n'a rien à envier à l'original des cafés (les possibilités du ST y sont pour quelque chose). L'animation des volatiles est très réaliste et pleine d'humour. Le bruitage, bien que sobre, entretient l'ambiance mystérieuse de ce programme. Joust nécessite cependant une longue phase d'apprentissage afin de contrôler avec finesse les déplacements de votre cavalier volant. [...] Joust est vraiment un excellent programme, riche en rebondissements potentiels.
NESNES Archives (Mar 03, 2009)
Joust is a fun and unique game. Nothing is more fun than showing it to someone who’s never played it before and watching their reaction as they try to figure out what is going on. Then, as soon as they get decent a pterodactyl comes out and munches them. Ahh, that is some sweet NESing.
Atari 2600The Atari Times (Dec 06, 2005)
Admittedly, this is not the best port of the game out there (see "Lynx - Joust" for that, in my opinion). Then again, this is the 2600 and if you are looking for a game of Joust that is pure fun whether it is arcade perfect or not, this is a fine port of it.
Atari 2600Le Geek (2012)
The best home port (unless you crave the true arcade challenge, you masochist!) is on the Atari 7800, which keeps the home play difficulty, but is much closer to capturing the graphic detail and added bells and whistles that are missing on the 2600. Still, this is a fine version and I have no problems giving it a high recommendation.
Joust offers a unique gaming experience, jousting on a flying Ostrich is the way to go and Joust on the Atari 5200 does a nice job with it.
Joust is somewhat scarce on grahics, but the game play brings back the arcde challenge. Inclusion of the 2 player do-op mode makes this a really fun game for 2.
Atari STComputer and Video Games (CVG) (Sep, 1988)
Not everyone will enjoy Joust - many find the inertial control method difficult to master - but if you enjoy a challenge and are into weird games, this one's a must.
Atari STGénération 4 (1987)
JOUST est un jeu détonnant aux graphismes fins et d'une grande maniabilité. Les bruitages sont réduits à leur plus simple expression. JOUST est aussi un jeu fantastique lorsqu'il est joué à deux joueurs.
LynxPower Unlimited (Jan, 1994)
Bij oudere gamers zal een conversie van een spel als Joust veel herinneringen oproepen. En nog altijd zal het een leuk spel blijken. Helaas zal door de simpele graphics en gameplay ook maar al te duidelijk zijn hoe oud het spel is.
Atari 8-bitMicro 7 (Apr, 1984)
Un jeu d'arcade qui est passé un peu inaperçu. La part de stratégie est plutôt plus importante que d'habitude, mais surtout la manipulation des autruches se fait sur un concept nouveau. Decor royal et animation somptueuse.
Xbox 360TalkXbox (Jan 16, 2006)
You’re going to get a great deal of bang for your buck here, there’s no question about it. For a mere five dollars, you acquire a cult classic with online play and a flopping thirty achievements for your unlocking pleasure. Just think, with this purchase there will be no more wasting (can I really call it wasting, though?) quarters at Dick and Larry’s Retro Arcade just to get your Joust fix.
Atari 2600Woodgrain Wonderland (Apr 28, 2017)
The gameplay differs from other ports in that the eggs actually float in mid-air, adding an extra dimension of challenge. Joust has never been a huge favourite of mine – I find the controls difficult on virtually every version I’ve played – but I like it well enough.
Xbox 360IGN (Dec 02, 2005)
Yes, it's easily 25 years old. And yes, it's been included in many, many Arcade Collections. As these Arcade games go, Joust hasn't lost a bit of its originality, challenge, and skill-based gameplay. It's way better with another play, especially in co-op. This one is on my collection.
LynxGame Zero (Mar, 1993)
This brings me back to my youth when the whole family would go to the corner pizza parlor. In the corner was a Joust machine. I would beg and plead my parents for that one shiny quarter to pop in and play away. The Lynx translation is nearly perfect in every respect. If your an old timer, and would like to see some of your favorite arcade games of the past, or a new timer wanting to experience the best classics, then this game is for you.
Xbox 360GameSpot (Nov 23, 2005)
1982 was a banner year for arcades. One of the games that helped make the year so special was Joust, a simultaneous two-player game from Williams, the company that's now known as Midway. The game is now available for download from Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade service, and the classic two-player action is playable over Xbox Live.
Atari 2600Game Freaks 365 (Jul 03, 2007)
The aesthetic values of this game are low for their time, but compared to the earliest Atari 2600 games, they are good. This long after the initial release, the Atari 2600 gamer can't afford to be bogged down in questions of aesthetics, but should rather be concerned about how fun a game is. If that is your concern, then Joust has a lot going for it and can easily be recommended. If you're looking for a game that can show off what the Atari 2600 is capable of graphically, though, this isn't it.
Atari STThe Games Machine (UK) (Sep, 1988)
Although Joust is a very dated game, the finely-detailed character graphics in this conversion are impressive. Playing alone could become a little repetitive, but the two-player mode is very good indeed and the arcade playability remains intact.
Atari 2600Oldies Rising (Dec 16, 2014)
Un classique, je vous l’avais bien dit ! Joust, sorti en 1983 sur Atari 2600 est un jeu qui a beaucoup été apprécié à l’époque. Un tel engouement était rare pour un jeu estampillé Atari Inc., la plupart des louanges revenant à l'époque au studio Activision… Le bon vieux temps diront certains… Que vous aimiez ou non le scoring, je suis sûr que vous pourrez passer du temps sur Joust. Une recette parfaite pour un jeu addictif à souhait malgré son caractère simpliste aux premier abord. Je ne l’ai découvert que très tard, les cartouches en Europe étant très difficiles à trouver et pour cause : sur notre continent, il n’avait atterri qu’au Royaume-Uni. Si vous pouvez vous le procurer donc, foncez!
A great blast from the past.
Xbox 360Retro Gamer (Feb, 2006)
New players may be put off by the sheer difficulty that the game offers (it takes a while to get used to your flying ostrich) but regulars will instantly be at home, especially as you can enable the Pterodactyl bug and revert to the visuals of the original. Joust may be another simple concept – fly around the screen and knock the other jousters off their rides – but its sheer difficulty means that non-fans may be forced look elsewhere for a challenge.
LynxAll Game Guide (1998)
Joust is a bonafide classic, but that doesn't mean everybody has to like it. Nostalgic gamers will find much to love about the Lynx version of Joust, but those looking for more modern gameplay or flashier visuals should just flap on by.
Xbox 360TeamXbox (Dec 08, 2005)
Fans of the classic arcade version of Joust can’t go wrong with the Xbox Live Arcade emulation and they should most likely appreciate the enhanced graphics that make the game prettier to look at without taking away from its original charm. Those of us that have never experienced Joust may find it a bit dated and difficult to get into. The game doesn’t offer up a lot of variety in terms of it’s challenges, but its simplicity is also part of its appeal. We recommend downloading the free trial before considering purchasing the full download and deciding for yourself. Still, Joust is a great example of a successful transition from the traditional arcade to the Xbox Live Arcade and along with the other games currently available, it should help pave the way for even more games to be made available in the future.
Xbox 360GamesRadar (Apr 18, 2006)
Initially, it's you against three other birds. Then they start coming in packs. Then chunks of the level start disappearing. Then the rival buzzard-jockeys start getting smarter and wilier. It's this progressive difficulty that makes Joust just as intense today as it was 20 years ago, and a welcome addition to the Live Arcade for those who fondly recall the Defender days of yore.
Xbox 360XBox Evolved (Dec 12, 2005)
Joust is a pretty good game, but it is strictly only for those who were actually gaming when the game was still out in the arcades, and at 400 points or five bucks you can’t go wrong. Put together the updated visuals with the classic gameplay and you have a pretty solid title.
67 (Jun, 2012)
Even as the game gets slightly harder with increasing enemies, the only real challenge comes from the game’s intentionally unwieldy controls and that’s never a good thing. Still, I can’t deny that I couldn’t stop playing the sucker today. Despite my critical issues, perhaps there’s still some of that kid in me that just likes to skewer dudes who have chosen ostrich riding as a point of pride.
Atari 2600Tilt (Jan, 1984)
Le principe un peu répétitif est compensé par la technique du vol, fatigante pour le pouce mais amusante et très difficile à maîtriser au début.
The level of difficulty lies in the number of enemy riders facing you (it can be crowded), placement of platforms that may hinder you, and lava pits and stage hazards (giant birds and the giant hand!). Mileage may vary depending upon fondness of the original arcade title and not wearing out the simple but fun premise.
Atari 2600TeleMatch (Nov, 1983)
Joust ist als Arkadenspiel zweifellos eines der grafisch beeindruckendsten der letzten Zeit. Mit Spannung konnte man der VCS.Version entgegensehen. Um es gleich zu sagen: Sie ist fraglos originell, erreicht aber nicht — beinahe könnte man sagen: ansatzweise — die Arcade-Fassung, wie sollte sie auch.
Atari (Jul 01, 2011)
Véritable ovni vidéoludique, Joust surprend grâce à un concept de jeu unique qui se situe entre le beat'em all et le shoot'em up. Imaginez des chevaliers montant des autruches volantes et s'affrontant dans les entrailles de la terre, où seul le survivant de joutes aériennes est élu vainqueur. C'est ce que propose Williams Electronics. Doté d'un gameplay déroutant au premier abord et de graphismes très épurés, le soft mérite que l'on s'y attarde le temps de quelques parties tellement l'expérience s'avère atypique et divertissante. Les fans de scoring pourront ajouter quelques points à la note générale car le jeu leur est clairement destiné. Les autres y reviendront pour des parties multijoueurs endiablées.
Atari 2600All Game Guide (1998)
Joust is a good translation of the arcade game. If you enjoyed this one in the arcade then you will like the Atari 2600 version as well.
Xbox 360Extreme Gamer (Jan 30, 2006)
Joust is one of the weirdest concepts out of Midway pack of arcade games. Even though Joust is weird it still has a quirky loveable quality to it. Don't let the simplistic levels and objective fool you, Joust is a challenge. Joust will mainly appeal to the nostalgic coin-op freaks who need to get their Joust boost on, but other will most likely be satisfied running the demo a few times.
Xbox 360Video Game Talk (Jun 19, 2006)
Joust just isn't worth 400 Marketplace points unless you were in serious love with the classic. It's an old school game suffering from its own dated look and style of play. I can't understand why Midway doesn't reinvent these games instead of churning out the same tired 20-year old game. Stick with the arcade offerings made specifically for Live Arcade and its users. Joust should be avoided by everyone.
Xbox 360Lawrence (Aug 15, 2006)
Considering the amount of quality titles on Xbox Live Arcade (and the huge success of Street Fighter II), I think it’s only appropriate for to start covering them. From this point forward, we’ll include reviews of new XBLA games in a kind of “mini-review” format. All of the grading criteria will be omitted except for the Overall score (after all, I’d feel odd scoring UNO’s graphics).
Atari STST Action (Aug, 1988)
As described, Joust is a piece of arcade history which has stood the test of time through the arcade, the VCS game console and the eight-bit market. But in its fourth generation of conversion, what does it have to offer sixteen-bit users? If Joust was released as a new game today, it would still be considered highly original and it is certainly excellent for two-player participation.
Die grafische Seite dieses Spiels ist, gemessen der Fähigkeiten des NES, relativ gut in Szene gesetzt worden. Soundmäßig tut sich zwar nicht viel, aber störend sind die Geräusche auch nicht. Die Steuerung ähnelt dem Automatenvorbild von ATARI, sie ist sehr präzise und die Trägheit kommt gut zur Geltung. Besonders ansprechend finde ich den animatorischen Bereich dieses Spiels, denn obwohl die Sprites recht klein geraten sind, bewegen sie sie sehr „lifehaftig“ JOUST reißt heutzutage zwar keinen mehr vom Hocker, doch da das NES mit neuer Software ziemlig knapp versorgt wird (in der BRD zunmindest), ist dieses Modul sicherlich nicht allzu uninteressant.
LynxRetro Game Reviews (Jul 24, 2015)
Lots of people seem to enjoy Joust and although the gameplay is decent I just didn't think it was anything special and boredom set in after 10-15 minutes. It's certainly a good arcade title and perfect for high score chasers but I expected more enhancements rather than a straight port of a ten-year-old game.
Atari 2600Atari HQ (2000)
Joust is a poor conversion of a great game. Some players may overlook its weaknesses and find some enjoyment, but I'm not making any such promises since there are better ports out there.
Atari 2600neXGam (Jun 27, 2013)
Und wieder mal eine Spielhallenumsetzung eines legendären Atari Klassikers. Leider haben gerade diese Portierungen in der Vergangenheit selten Grund zum Jubeln gegeben und auch Joust macht da keine Ausnahme.
LynxMega Fun (May, 1993)
Ach, kommt mir doch nicht damit! Vor zehn Jahren war Joust vielleicht noch ein gutes Spiel, aber mit den heutigen Maßstäben kann es beim besten Willen nicht mithalten. Die Grafik ist fast überhaupt nicht vorhanden. Eine solche Spargrafik und -animation habe ich bis jetzt noch nicht erlebt. Die FX schaltet man am besten gleich ab. Das Spielprinzip selbst ist altbacken hoch drei und denkbar unoriginell und lockt heutzutage fast niemanden hinter dem Ofen hervor, es sei denn, man ist ein Fan der Automaten- bzw. VCS 2600er- Version.