North American arcade flyer
Publisher(s) Exidy, Atari, Mean Hamster Software
Platform(s) Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari XE Game System, Commodore 64
Release date(s) 1983
Genre(s) Light-gun games
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Arcade system Exidy 440
Display Raster, 320 x 240 pixels (Horizontal), 256 colors
Crossbow is a video arcade game released by Exidy in 1983. It was later published by Absolute Entertainment for the Commodore 64, DOS and by Atari for the 2600, 7800 and XE Game System starting in 1987.
Crossbow was the first arcade game with fully digitized sound and speech (some earlier games such as Journey used a loop tape for music and speech effects). It also featured some of the most advanced graphics of the time. Unlike other gun games, such as Operation Wolf (released four years later) that used a positional gun, Crossbow featured an optical light gun. The game's light gun resembled a full-sized crossbow. Some complained that it was heavy and difficult to aim.
Gameplay requires the player to protect a band of adventurers from afar by shooting objects that threaten them. The adventurers enter from the left-hand side of the screen and attempt to cross the screen unharmed. If the player helps them reach the opposite side of the screen safely, the adventurers survive to the next scenario, and new adventurers are occasionally granted between scenarios. Levels are chosen by shooting a destination on a map screen.
Scenarios include: town, desert, volcano, cave, bridge, jungle, and castle. The goal is to reach the final scenario, past the castle, in which the player confronts the Master—who presumably created the dangers in the game. Defeating his manifestation (a huge face which shot projectiles from the eyes) wins the game. The player is treated to a brief congratulation and a challenge to defeat the Master again. Following this screen the player starts over with however many adventurers survived the confrontation.
This game can be played with the MAME video game emulator, using a mouse instead of the crossbow-shaped light gun.
Source: Wikipedia, "Crossbow (video game)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.