Cosmic Swarm

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About Atari 2600 Cosmic Swarm

Cosmic Swarm for Atari 2600


In the vast expanse of space lies WAYPOINT, a major interstellar trading hub operated by a small crew at a strategic crossroads among the stars. It’s a role that promises tranquility but hides unexpected dangers. Lurking within one of its compartments, a colony of giant, alien, mineral-eating termites from Section Seven awaken. These creatures start to overrun the main power-conversion chamber, constructing a chaotic nest and threatening the depot’s operations. As the crew scrambles to deploy remote-controlled probe ships, the task falls to you to navigate the perilous chamber, eliminate the termite threat, and ensure WAYPOINT’s safety.

Getting Started:

Choose your game difficulty using the console’s difficulty switches (referred to as “skill switches” on the Sears Tele-Game version, with “a” for expert and “b” for novice settings).

  • Beginner: Both switches to “b”.
  • Novice: Left switch to “a”, right to “b”.
  • Challenger: Left switch to “b”, right to “a”.
  • Expert: Both switches to “a”.
  1. Position the joystick with the red button in the upper left corner.
  2. Start the game by pressing the game reset switch.

Controlling Your Ship:

Use the left joystick to pilot your probe ship. The red button’s position (up or down) changes the ship’s movement and firing capabilities:

  • Red Button Up: Navigate in all directions, including diagonally.
  • Red Button Down: Allows vertical movement, rotation (clockwise or counter-clockwise), and fires your ship’s weapon when released. Only one projectile can be in the air, with a new shot cancelling the previous one.


Avoid contact with Termites or their nest blocks to prevent destruction. Termites are eliminated with a direct bolt shot from your ship, but nest blocks are impervious unless energized. You start with three probe ships and earn a new one for every 100 points, with a maximum of six in reserve. Failing to refuel or running out of ships ends the game. Refuel by docking with a ship that appears when your fuel is low.


  • Termites without a block: 1 point.
  • Termites with a block (not hitting the bottom): 2 points.
  • Termites with a block (hitting the bottom): 3 points.
  • Energized (red) blocks: 1 point.

Difficulty Switches:

  • Left switch adjusts one termite’s speed; “a” is faster.
  • Right switch affects termite aggression; “a” makes them more likely to pursue your ship.

Navigate the dangers of WAYPOINT, utilize your strategic skills to outmaneuver the termite threat, and safeguard this critical space crossroads.

Cosmic Swarm Atari 2600 game facts

GAME TITLE: Cosmic Swarm

PLATFORM: Atari 2600

GAME ORIGIN: 3rd party