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As the game begins, the player character falls through a trapdoor and ends up inside an evil castle with only one way to get out of it - find all the pieces of the great ACG key that unlocks the main door.

Atic Atac is an action game with adventure elements, mixing arcade gameplay with exploration of a large castle and light puzzle-solving. The player can choose to control either a Wizard, a Knight, or a Serf. Each character has access to a different secret passage, which means that the player will be navigating different rooms depending on the choice of character. Characters also possess unique skills: for example, the Serf can gain momentum when running, allowing him to traverse greater distances in less time.

Enemies appear in each room and would randomly attack the protagonist. The player can choose to collide with them, which destroys the enemies but also drains health from the main character. Some enemies cannot be killed by conventional means and must be either avoided or dealt with by using special items. Poisonous mushrooms will also damage the hero, and bosses will drain his health as long as he maintains close contact.

The player character's life meter gets gradually depleted. Health can be restored by consuming food scattered around the castle, but the countdown cannot be stopped. In addition, doors would sometimes close, trapping the hero in a room. Keys must be collected to open many of the castle's doors.


Atic Atac ZX Spectrum Quasimodo. Weak to claw.
Atic Atac ZX Spectrum Stairs
Atic Atac ZX Spectrum Falling into trapdoor.
Atic Atac ZX Spectrum Game over.

Promo Images

Atic Atac Other

User Reviews

Ultimate masterpiece delivered to game stardom dan rexx (45) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Fast and Furious piltdown_man (173028) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

Critic Reviews

Popular Computing Weekly Feb 23, 1984 10 out of 10 100
Crash! Mar, 1984 92 out of 100 92
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Feb, 1984 9 out of 10 90
Tilt Apr, 1984 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 83 (UK) Oct 10, 2007 8 out of 10 80
Home Computing Weekly Jan 24, 1984 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80 (UK) Oct 29, 2007 8 out of 10 80
Retro Gamer Dec 24, 2016 Unscored Unscored
Sinclair User Feb, 1984 Unscored Unscored
Happy Computer Apr, 1984 Unscored Unscored


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Magazine map

Another innovation resulting from the game was that it was the first game to have a map published by a magazine (Crash!). This was contributed by a reader, and unusually as a result of a competition.


Some copies of the game exist where the message on completing the game is spelled as "CONGRATULATIONT" - apparently due to an error in the typing of the code, using 212 instead of 211 in an important place.


  • ACE
    • February 1991 (issue #41) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time, section Arcade Adventures (editorial staff choice)
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #51 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Related Web Sites

  • Retrospec (has a Windows Atic Atac remake.)
  • Wikipedia (free Encyclopedia entry)
  • World of Spectrum (release information; additional material; player reviews; magazine references; magazine adverts)
EboMike (3128) added Atic Atac (ZX Spectrum) on Aug 31, 2004
Other platforms contributed by Terok Nor (28307)