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Aliens from the planet of Krytol are attacking your cities! As the commander of a missile base, it is your responsibility to defend them. A variety of enemy weapons and planes will be incoming trying to destroy the six cities at the bottom of the screen. You need to fire missiles to destroy the incoming weapons. If anything gets through, one of your cities could be destroyed. When all of the cities are gone, the game is over. On each level you have a limited amount of ammo, so make sure most (if not all) of your shots are accurate or you could run out of ammo and leave your cities at risk! As the levels progress, there are more and more enemy weapons to destroy which come in at an increasingly faster rate.


Missile Command Atari 2600 The game in black and white mode
Missile Command Atari ST Game start
Missile Command Atari 5200 Title screen and game options
Missile Command Atari ST The town is basically gone, but at least some bonus points after the level finish

Promo Images

There are no promo images for this game

Alternate Titles

  • "Comando de Mísseis" -- Brazilian title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

80's Cold War paranoia manifest it'self into a insanely fun game ! Atari 2600 GAMEBOY COLOR! (2002)
All-Time-Favorite Atari 2600 JoeHamburg (5)

Critic Reviews

The Video Game Critic Atari 2600 Jan 06, 2019 A 100
Woodgrain Wonderland Atari 2600 Jun 30, 2017 A+ 100
Atari Gamer - XL-XE Game Review Edition Atari 8-bit Dec, 2013 9 out of 10 90 (UK) Arcade Oct 26, 2007 9 out of 10 90
Retro4Ever Atari 2600 Oct 31, 2012 8 out of 10 80
Atari HQ Atari 2600 2000 8 out of 10 80
The Atari Times Atari 5200 Oct 26, 2006 67 out of 100 67
Tilt Atari 8-bit Sep, 1982 4 out of 6 67
The Video Game Critic Atari 5200 Oct 05, 2001 B- 67
Le Geek Atari 2600 Nov, 2006 3 out of 5 60


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1001 Video Games

Missile Command appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled successor

The successor Missile Command 2 was in development, but was never released to arcades. It was supposed to be a two-player-variant in which two opponents defend and attack simultaneously. According to designer Rich Adam they never managed to make the concept fun.


When the game was designed, the cities in Missile Command were intended to represent six cities on the California coast: Eureca, San Francisco, San Lois Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego.


Senior Atari engineer Steve Calfee is responsible for suggesting the display of the final words THE END following the explosion when the last city is destroyed.

References to the game

  • The game appears to have been parodied in the TV series The Simpsons. In the episode in which Lisa develops a crush on school bully Nelson Muntz, he and his friends are seen hurling eggs at the window of the house of Principal Skinner. The view is then seen from inside the house, and the green lines hitting the window and exploding into circles look a lot like the shots in the game.
  • In the movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day, John Connor is shown playing Missile Command at the arcade at the mall. Ironically, the movies are based on a nuclear war where nukes fell from the skies and destroyed every city on earth, and John, who will eventually be the leader of the Resistance, is actually playing the game, showing a vision of things to come.
  • In the 1983 episode Smaller Than Life from the TV series Magnum P.I., a kid is seen playing Missile Command on an Atari 800.


  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #96 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
    • #7 in the “Top 25 Atari 2600” Games poll

Information also contributed by Martin Smith, PCGamer77, Pseudo_Intellectual, Robbb and FatherJack

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Contributed to by Jo ST (24060), Alaka (74824), Kabushi (251096), Pseudo_Intellectual (62900), Servo (57388) and Jeanne (76347)