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Box artwork for Crossbow.
Publisher(s)Exidy, Absolute Entertainment, Atari, Mean Hamster Software
Release date(s)
Arcade icon.png
Atari 8-bit icon.pngCommodore 64 128 icon.png
Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64/128
Genre(s)Light gun
System(s)Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, MAME
Mode(s)Single player, Multiplayer
TwitchCrossbow Channel
YouTube GamingCrossbow Channel

Crossbow was an arcade game first released by Exidy in 1983. It was later published by Absolute Entertainment on the Commodore 64 and by Atari for the 2600, 7800 and XE Game System of the Atari 8-bit family in 1988.

It was the first arcade game with fully digitized sound and speech. (Some earlier games such as Journey Escape 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 like 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 required the player to protect a band of adventurers from afar by shooting objects that threatened them. The adventurers would enter from the left-hand side of the screen and attempt to cross the screen unharmed. If the player helped them reach the opposite side of the screen safely, that adventurer would survive for the next level, and new adventurers were occasionally granted between levels. Levels were chosen by shooting a destination on a map screen.

This game can be played with the MAME video game emulator, using a mouse instead of the crossbow-shaped light gun.

Game designer and chief programmer: Nick Ilyin Development team: Vic Tolomei (programming), Larry Hutcherson (programming), Howell Ivy (hardware design), Ken Nicholson (sound and vocal characterization), Lynn Pointer (art design).

In 2006 it was announced that Mean Hamster Software obtained development rights to Exidy games and is producing a new version of Crossbow for Windows PCs.

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Box artwork[edit]