Superman Video Games - Stage 1

By Christopher Moshier
May 7, 2007 - 14:30

Here is the definitive list of Superman arcade and video games that were ever produced.  If you think me missed something let us know!  This list was taken from numerous sources on the internet with credits noted.  Make sure you visit the sites linked as there is some fun information that goes along with them.  The awesome videos in this article were provided with permission through a great website called Game Videos.

Atari – Atari Inc. – 1979
Superman Pinball Machine

1 to 4 player action. WideActionTM playfield. New Space Age sounds. Ball-to-ball memory. New cabinet design. New solid state electronic system. Replay or add-a-ball, 3 or 5 ball.

Comments from designer Steve Ritchie taken from the website Internet Pinball Database.

"Eugene Jarvis and I will consult on the quantity of Atari's Superman Pinballs that were produced. I think it was 3,000, but Eugene might remember a different quantity. It might have as high as 5,000......

Eugene wrote all the sounds for Superman and one of his amazing programs that created some sounds by introducing bugs to the program. He later created G-wave, an incredible breakthrough at the time. Recording music and sound on silicon was not an option in 1977.

Eugene and I worked together on Superman for what seemed like years. It might have been 13 months or so. I stumbled through many whitewoods, but ultimately, it played nice for it's time.

I brought my Echoplex (a guitar player's tape loop mechanical echo chamber on the cheap) to work, and connected it to our Superman Prototype. The continuous background sound that emanated intrigued us.

Atari management refused to let us apply this fun discovery, which made the player feel more a part of the pinball game, and added progressive adrenaline to any pinball as the game progressed. Why didn't management feel what we felt?

I left Atari to make pinball machines at Williams before Superman was manufactured, and applied the background sound concept to Flash, which was also the first game to use Flash Lamps, (that's how they got their name) and a 3rd-flipper-repeatable loop shot. I was also a lot happier working at Williams, happiness being an important ingredient that enables a designer to create to his/her potential."

Learn more than you would ever possibly want about the game by scrolling down to "S" via this  link.

Atari 2600 – Atari – 1979

You are Superman.  Receiving a tip on a bomb scare, you rush to the Metropolis waterfront.  Dropping into a nearby phone booth, you change into Clark Kent, mild- mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, and continue east toward the Metropolis Memorial Bridge.

As you approach the bridge, it explodes!  Lex Luthor, arch enemy of Superman, is seen leaving in a hell-pack.  Some of the Lex Luthor henchmen rush from the scene.  A helicopter flies by carrying Lois Lane.  Is she in trouble, or has she hired the helicopter to scoop the story?  Another crook sneaks away.

This is a job for Superman!  You rush back to the phone booth and emerge as the Man of Steel.

"Up, up and away" you fly to capture Lex Luthor and his gang.  But beware!  Lex Luthor has released three Kryptonite satellites that will seek you out.  If any touch you, you become weak.  You will lose your ability to fly, and to capture and hold on to things.  Only a touch from Lois Lane will revive you.

The destroyed Metropolis Memorial Bridge is important to the economy of the city.  Besides catching Lex Luthor and his gang, you must find the three pieces of the Bridge and rebuild it.

The helicopter may try to help, but more than likely it will be a hindrance...sometimes even removing parts of the Bridge that you have put into place.  Other times it is a definite ally by snatching away the Kryptonite satellite that Lex Luthor may be hiding behind.

After putting Lex Luthor and his gang behind bars, and rebuilding the Bridge, you return to the phone booth and change back into Clark Kent.  Then you catch a subway to the Daily Planet and turn in your story.

Watch some GAMEPLAY!

Atari 5200 – Atari – 1983
Superman III

Loosely based on the Superman III movie starring Christopher Reeve.  The game was never released.

The following is from Atari

"As mentioned before, the game revolves around Superman's fight with the super computer.  The game board is separated into eight city blocks with the super computer in the center.  You play the role of Superman (naturally) who must fly around the screen destroying energy pulses being sent out by the computer with his heat vision.  These energy pulses will roam the screen in a random pattern, often snaking around for a few moments before actually hitting a city.  If a pulse hits a city it will immediately be drained of all its power and will go dead (all the lights will go out).  Once a city is dead, if a probe hits it again it will catch fire which Superman will have to put out with his ice breath.  If a fire burns too long the city will turn to rubble and be permanently destroyed.  Hitting the pulses is very difficult due to the fact that Superman is always moving, and it's really easy to overshoot your target.  The computer will also shoot out green Kryptonite probes which will disable Superman for a few moments (afterall, you can't really kill the man of steel).  Also keep an eye out for people that randomly appear during the later rounds whom Superman can grab for extra points.  The whole game plays somewhat like Missile Command in the round, but doesn't have the same addictive fast paced gameplay."


Commodore 64/128 – Capstone – 1985
Superman: The Game

From CAPSTONE, comes this game for the Commodore 64/128.  New adventures in battling the forces of evil!  Join Superman in the never ending battle for Truth, Justice and the American Way in this 3-D arcade-action adventure.  It's up to you to save the planet.  But, be careful, because two of your most dangerous enemies - Lex Luthor and Darkseid have struck an unholy alliance and have Lois Lane as a hostage.  It's going to take all of your super powers, telescopic and heat vision, super strength, super breath and fearless flight, to save the world from destruction.

Check out more screen shots of this classic game over at Screen

Watch some GAMEPLAY!

Commodore 64/128 – Capstone – 1988
Superman: Man Of Steel

From CAPSTONE, as Superman you must protect Metropolis from Parademons, protect a space station from asteroids, and battle through various other challenging levels of game play.


This one was rather odd to research.  Numerous sites had this game grouped with Superman: The Game thinking it one in the same.  Finally - thanks to Lemon I was able to distinguish between the two.


Nintendo – Kemco – 1988

With Metropolis under attack and Lois Lane kidnapped, Superman is the only one who can save the day.  As the Man of Steel, you'll make your way through five intense levels, flying through various environments and blasting enemies with heat vision.  You'll have plenty of powers to keep your nemeses on the run, and you'll need all the help you can get against bad guys like Metallo, Brainiac, and Prankster.  Drill through buildings, avoid deadly kryptonite, and use power punches to make your foes feel the pain in this detailed take on a classic character.  The animations are based on the more traditional comic book Superman rather than the newer animated series.

Watching the video it looks more like Super Mario brothers rather than Superman which gave me a little chuckle.

Watch some GAMEPLAY!

Taito – Taito Corporation -1988
Superman Video Arcade Game

A horizontal video game that may be played by one or two players interactively.  The two players, one controlling a blue Superman character and one controlling a red Superman character, team up to save the world by battling against the evil alien super-powers.  Each player uses a joystick to move his Superman character while walking or in flight.  Two buttons aside each joystick are used to throw punches, kick, or emit heat vision, a high intensity laser which destroys all in its path.  By pressing the punch button and holding it momentarily, Superman can throw a blast punch.  As Superman picks up various colored crystals, he is awarded with additional energy and weapons, including a Super Blast Punch and Mass Terminator.  The Mass Terminator destroys all enemies presently on the screen. Items such as cars, gasoline cans, etc. can also be picked up and hurled at approaching enemies.  This is done by crouching down and then standing up.  It is possible for a second player to join the game at any time and the players can keep playing with the "Continue Play" options. The game begins with Clark Kent running through an empty alley and switching to Superman.

Watch some GAMEPLAY!

Sega Super System – Virgin – 1992
Superman: The Man of Steel

Lois Lane has been kidnapped by Brainiac.  The Doom Star orbits the Earth.  The deadliest adversaries Superman has ever encountered are running amok.  What greater challenge for The Man of Steel, his Heat Vision and the Might of his Super Punch.

WOW!  I had forgotten all about the Sega Super System.  It goes right up there with the 32x or even the Sega CD.  For the time its performance was great, but its reception lackluster.  BUT I am not here to discuss platforms so lets get back to the Superman games!



Watch some GAMEPLAY!

Sega Genesis – Sunsoft – 1992
Superman: The Man of Steel

To tell you the truth I don't have clue one what this game is about.  The Superman Homepage says this game is "5 levels of adventure in a battle against Prankster, Brainiac, Mr. Mxyzptlk and more, with Superman's powers including flight, super punch, heat-vision, super strength and a neat super spin move (like a drill)."  This game is confused with the already spotlighted Sega Super System game of the same name on every website I visited.  My head did a 180 degree turn at least ten times trying to differentiate this between the two.

OK!  I'm going to point you towards a very funny - BUT - adult review of this game.  The guy goes by the name of The Fat Mann Judgeth and you can catch Part 1 and Part 2 of his review.


Watch some GAMEPLAY!

Super Nintendo/Sega Genesis – Sunsoft – 1994
The Death and Return of Superman

Based on the popular DC Comics "The Death of Superman" and "The Reign of the Supermen" Doomsday is in the process of destroying Metropolis, and it's up to you, as Superman, to put an end to his destructive ways.  You'll have to fight through his army of goons, and then prepare for the ultimate showdown with Doomsday himself.  If you defeat your nemesis, you actually both die and you assume the role of one of the other heroes who claim to be the "real" Superman, The Cyborg, The Eradicator, The Man of Steel, or Superboy, and start over again.  Each Superman has unique powers, and each will require a different approach to be successful.  If you can make it through the game as all five men, the truth will be revealed!


Watch some GAMEPLAY!

Super Nintendo/Sega Genesis – Sunsoft - 1995
Justice League Task Force

Who would win a fight between Superman and Batman?  What about Green Arrow and the Flash?  If trying to figure out the answers to these questions gives you headache, then play Justice League Task Force.  Battle in a series of one-on-one fights as your favorite DC Comics superhero, or choose to fight for the forces of evil as Darkseid, Despero, or Cheetah.  All of the characters have their signature moves.  You can battle in classic settings like Gotham City, Metropolis, and Apokolips.  Who is the greatest superhero of all time?  You shall see with Justice League Task Force.



Keep an eye out for the second part of this series.  Many more Superman Video Games to cover.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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