Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters boasts what may be the longest coin-op title ever. So big, in fact, that the marquee is larger than the actual gameplay monitor! It is quite a sight to see, and screams of a classic B-movie bijou sci-fi serial showcasing menacing evil robots, a colossal lizard, and the token risqué woman in red. The attract mode and cut-scenes are even presented in a comic strip narrative format as if torn from the pages of Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon – truly the stuff of a 50’s drive-in double feature.

While such theatrical creature-features operated on a shoe-string budget, Atari’s coin-op didn’t cut cor- ners. The custom-designed cabinet included two main central-processing units and Hall e ect joys cks, a form of analog joys cks that doubled the standard 8-way controls allowing for 16-direc onal control.

The game’s story is just as hokey as its cheesy presenta- on. Evil Rep lons have invaded the synthe c industrial planetoid known as… Planet X. The aliens have comman- deered the research laboratory, captured the buxom and brainy Dr. Sarah Bellum, and plan to use her men- tal might to do no good. The occupiers have enslaved the humans sta oned in the lab and are forcing them to use the factory to manufacture an evil robot army to obliterate the Earth! Stereotypical Sci- schlock, indeed!


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Michael Thomasson Michael Thomasson (63 Posts)

Michael Thomasson is one of the most widely respected videogame historians in the field today. He currently teaches college level videogame history, design, and graphics courses. For television, Michael conducted research for MTV's videogame related program Video MODS. In print, he authored Downright Bizarre Games, and has contributed to nearly a dozen gaming texts. Michael’s historical columns have been distributed in newspapers and magazines worldwide. He has written business plans for several vendors and managed a dozen game-related retail stores spanning three decades. Michael consults for multiple video game and computer museums and has worked on nearly a hundred game titles on Atari, Coleco, Sega and other console platforms. In 2014, The Guinness Book of World Records declared that Thomasson had “The Largest Videogame Collection” in the world. His businesses sponsor gaming tradeshows and expos across the US and Canada.  Visit