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Touchdown Challenge (Revisited)

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I wrote my very first simple game called "Touchdown Challenge" back in 2014 when I was just starting to get my feet wet with 7800basic.  I thought I'd revisit that game and try and make it better.  I have learned a few things here and there in the 8 years since I posted it. :)



This version was written completely from scratch, I did not re-use anything from the original game.  It's all new, and I'd like to think much better and more fun to play.  


Here's how you play:


  • The game has four difficulty levels:
    • Practice:  The game runs at the default speed, and tackling and running out of bounds are disabled.  You can simply practice running plays and the defense will behave the same way as if you chose the standard difficulty.
    • Standard:  The slowest (and default) setting. 
    • Advanced:  A slightly faster defense.
    • Expert: The defense is really fast.  It's a bit unfair.
  • From the titlescreen, press left and right on the joystick to select your difficulty.  Push down on the joystick to select "Start Game", and press the left fire button to begin.
  • Once you enter the game, Press right fire to start your first play.  The action will start immediately.  You can try and run the ball in, or you can press the right fire button to pass to your receiver.  
  • When passing, there are certain defenders that can intercept the ball.  One defensive play has three defenders that can intercept.  With a little practice you'll figure out which to avoid. :)
  • Downs:  The referee will come out and blow the whistle if you run out of bounds, are tackled by a defender, or throw an incomplete pass. 
  • In some defensive plays it's easier to run the football.  The players line up the same, so you'll have to recognize quickly which play it is once they start running toward you.  The defense will always cycle through the same set of Defensive plays regardless of the difficulty you choose, however their speed is different.
  • Defenders will run to the bottom of the screen, then turn around.  They will always move toward the football.  Once you've passed the ball, you cannot be tackled for a down.
  • You get four downs to score a touchdown either by running it in with your quarterback or passing to your lone receiver.  After 4 downs the game will reset with the same difficulty you originally chose.  Hit the reset button to go back to the title screen and select a different difficulty if you'd like to change it.
  • In between downs, a message will display on the screen as to why the referee blew the whistle.  Press the left fire button to continue on to the next play.  There will be no pause in between plays, when you press the button the action re-starts immediately.
  • Your high score will save for the current play session and display on screen if you fail to score on 4th down.  It is not configured for Atarivox or Savekey saving at this point, so if you reset the game your high score will be lost.


I think that's it.  I will probably add or change a few more things before I call this game finished (colors, graphics, sound effects/music), but the basics are done.








Latest Version:

Touchdown_Challenge_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_v2.19.bin(Adds Angled Passing to the left or right, see this post for detail)


Old Versions:

Touchdown_Challenge_v2.18.a78Touchdown_Challenge_v2.18.bin (Adds new referee whistle sound, that's it)

Touchdown_Challenge_v2.17.a78Touchdown_Challenge_v2.17.bin (Lots of changes, see this post for detail)

Touchdown_Challenge_2.10.a78Touchdown_Challenge_2.10.bin    (See this post for detail)

Touchdown_Challenge_v2.0.a78 Touchdown_Challenge_v2.0.bin   (Initial Release)


I also created new binaries for each NFL team, adding their logo to the middle of the playfield rather than the default image.  


Arizona Cardinals: Touchdown_Challenge_Cardinals_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Cardinals_v2.19.bin
Atlanta Falcons: Touchdown_Challenge_Falcons_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Falcons_v2.19.bin
Baltimore Ravens: Touchdown_Challenge_Ravens_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Ravens_v2.19.bin
Buffalo Bills: Touchdown_Challenge_Bills_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Bills_v2.19.bin
Carolina Panthers: Touchdown_Challenge_Panthers_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Panthers_v2.19.bin
Chicago Bears: Touchdown_Challenge_Bears_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Bears_v2.19.bin
Cincinnati Bengals: Touchdown_Challenge_Bengals_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Bengals_v2.19.bin
Cleveland Browns: Touchdown_Challenge_Browns_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Browns_v2.19.bin
Dallas Cowboys: Touchdown_Challenge_Cowboys_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Cowboys_v2.19.bin
Denver Broncos: Touchdown_Challenge_Broncos_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Broncos_v2.19.bin
Detroit Lions: Touchdown_Challenge_Lions_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Lions_v2.19.bin
Green Bay Packers: Touchdown_Challenge_GreenBay_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_GreenBay_v2.19.bin
Houston Texans: Touchdown_Challenge_Texans_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Texans_v2.19.bin
Indianapolis Colts: Touchdown_Challenge_Colts_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Colts_v2.19.bin
Jacksonville Jaguars: Touchdown_Challenge_Jaguars_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Jaguars_v2.19.bin
Kansas City Chiefs: Touchdown_Challenge_Chiefs_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Chiefs_v2.19.bin
Las Vegas Raiders: Touchdown_Challenge_Raiders_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Raiders_v2.19.bin
Los Angeles Chargers: Touchdown_Challenge_Chargers_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Chargers_v2.19.bin
Los Angeles Rams: Touchdown_Challenge_Rams_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Rams_v2.19.bin
Miami Dolphins: Touchdown_Challenge_Dolphins_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Dolphins_v2.19.bin
Minnesota Vikings: Touchdown_Challenge_Vikings_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Vikings_v2.19.bin
New England Patriots: Touchdown_Challenge_Patriots_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Patriots_v2.19.bin
New Orleans Saints: Touchdown_Challenge_Saints_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Saints_v2.19.bin
New York Giants: Touchdown_Challenge_Giants_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Giants_v2.19.bin
New York Jets: Touchdown_Challenge_Jets_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Jets_v2.19.bin
Philadelphia Eagles: Touchdown_Challenge_Eagles_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Eagles_v2.19.bin
Pittsburgh Steelers: Touchdown_Challenge_Steelers_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Steelers_v2.19.bin
San Francisco 49ers: Touchdown_Challenge_49ers_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_49ers_v2.19.bin
Seattle Seahawks: Touchdown_Challenge_Seahawks_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Seahawks_v2.19.bin
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Touchdown_Challenge_Buccaneers_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Buccaneers_v2.19.bin
Tennessee Titans: Touchdown_Challenge_Titans_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Titans_v2.19.bin
Washington Commanders: Touchdown_Challenge_Commanders_v2.19.a78Touchdown_Challenge_Commanders_v2.19.bin


Source Code







Default Version:


Kansas City Chiefs   


Cincinnati Bengals






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Hi Walter,


Thanks!  Yes I remember those hacks.  This version of the game is more complex than the original I posted and more specific to American football, so changing it over to an international football/soccer game would probably require writing an entirely new game. 


Right now once you choose a difficulty level you're locked in unless you reset the game.  When you run out of downs and restart, it stays on the same difficulty level you chose from the title screen.  I could look at adding a method to change the difficulty once you've started.  It's currently set that way so players wouldn't have to constantly switch back to the title screen after 4th down, as it's a pretty fast game.


I'm still working on the game and making some changes, I'll look at that for the next version.



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Quite a few revisions in this release.

  • New Intro Screen with AA Logo and some new animations.
  • New Titlescreen Background Image and color changes, I didn't like how the old titlescreen looked.
  • In game, there is a football on the status screen that changes color depending on the difficulty level chosen.  Good for screenshots and remembering which difficulty you chose.
  • New Two Player option added.  Press right or left on the "start game" option on the titlescreen to choose 1P or 2P.  More on that below.
  • Behind the scenes, further reduced the chances of a screen glitch when the action is paused.
  • New option to either continue the game on the same difficulty level or restart the game if you don't score on fourth down.
  • A few additional tweaks to the receiver's run pattern and the defensive plays.

Regarding the two player option, well, it's pretty much untested because I don't have a 2nd player to play with me.  If you choose that option, one of the defenders will change his uniform color to yellow and can be controlled with the 2nd joystick.  The 2nd player cannot intercept the ball, that would make it much too easy on defense.  You'll have to try and chase the quarterback down and tackle him.  The 2 player option may very well make playing offense way too difficult either way.


I did look into changing the difficulty option on the fly, but technically it was more trouble than it was worth.  Every time there is a down the screen is saved and restored in a different loop, so no screen updates can take place. 


Not much playtesting time has gone into this release, and I still haven't tried it out on real hardware.  A quick playthrough and it looks good, though.






Touchdown_Challenge_2.10.a78 Touchdown_Challenge_2.10.bin

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I found some info on the Quadtari here. it looks pretty cool, but only works with 7800 titles if the game in question only uses one fire button, according to the description.

it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to add that type of support to this game, however three other human controlled defenders making a beeline for the quarterback would make this game really difficult, if not impossible, on offense as it’s written now. The computer controlled defense now is mostly random, if I had defenders constantly pursue the quarterback it would be almost impossible to score.


Cool idea, though, I’ll keep that in mind for a future project.


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Here's the source code for v2.10 as well as the graphics files needed to compile it.


I'm calling this complete.  At this point I'll just fix bugs if any are found, and take a look at any other minor suggestions for improvement if anyone has any.


I had a lot of fun creating this and it finally completes my very first 7800basic project. :) Thanks for playing!




(Bonus points to anyone that recognizes the team logo on the field!)


Touchdown_Challenge_v2.10.bas Touchdown_Challenge_v2.10_Graphics.zip

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44 minutes ago, Atarius Maximus said:

Here's the source code for v2.10 as well as the graphics files needed to compile it.


I'm calling this complete.  At this point I'll just fix bugs if any are found, and take a look at any other minor suggestions for improvement if anyone has any.


I had a lot of fun creating this and it finally completes my very first 7800basic project. :) Thanks for playing!




(Bonus points to anyone that recognizes the team logo on the field!)


Touchdown_Challenge_v2.10.bas 123.56 kB · 0 downloads Touchdown_Challenge_v2.10_Graphics.zip 166.03 kB · 0 downloads

Logo reminds me of the Iowa Barnstorms Arena Football League.  

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ZeroPage Homebrew is playing Touchdown Challenge on tomorrow's stream LIVE on Twitch, hope you can join us!


After Dark:




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Thanks James!  Whew, playing my game next to anything Bob has done is really going to make me look like an amateur. :) Based on the time I think I'll be able to join this time.  I'd love to see/hear some feedback, as there's plenty of ROM space left in this game if there are any suggestions for improvement. 


K.C. Munchkin is fantastic, I bought that one on cartridge when it was first released.

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20 hours ago, Atarius Maximus said:

Thanks James!  Whew, playing my game next to anything Bob has done is really going to make me look like an amateur. :) Based on the time I think I'll be able to join this time.  I'd love to see/hear some feedback, as there's plenty of ROM space left in this game if there are any suggestions for improvement.

Looking forward to playing it on the show tonight and will definitely give suggestions if there are any! See you in the chat!


- James

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I added some features to the game based on comments made during the ZeroPage Homebrew stream:

  • 'Easy' Difficulty added.  On easy, your player moves faster than all of the defenders.  Practice mode continues to mirror the speed of the standard difficulty option.
  • I added detection for hitting the reset button in all of the subroutines in the game that pause the action.  You should now be able to hit reset to start over at any time.
  • During the stream, it was noted that it was much too easy to accidently reset the game when you are on the "game over" screen with the options to press left to continue or right to reset.  To get around this, I added a countdown timer to the top left of the screen when the game's over, during which time fire button presses will not do anything.  It's a forced pause of 5 seconds or so.
  • The biggest and most time consuming change was a new option to change the uniform colors for both offense and defense.  After you select "start game" from the title screen, you will be taken to a new screen that lets you change uniform colors.  Press left and right to choose from 32 different defense uniform colors, and up and down to choose from 32 different offense uniform colors.  Press the left fire button when you're done.  The first uniform displayed for both offense and defense are the default colors that I originally chose for this game, so you can just hit left fire to quickly bypass the screen if you want to stick with the defaults.

No other bugs were found during the stream or during my play sessions.  The game is in a competed state.  Any further changes will either be cosmetic or address any issues that may be found.











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16 minutes ago, Karl G said:

@Atarius Maximus I was playing around with a referee whistle sound effect, and I thought I'd offer the result here in case you want to use it. I won't be offended if you prefer your own of course, but here it is just in case. Press fire to hear the whistle.  🙂


I love it, Karl! Thanks!  It sounds much more like a referee blowing a whistle than my feeble attempt. :)


Attached is a new version of the game that includes your modified whistle.  No other changes were made.



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12 hours ago, mdoerty said:

Thanks. I may do that. 




I just checked as I wanted to share the link for requesting custom 7800 cartridges...  https://atariage.com/store/index.php?l=product_detail&p=950


I was, however, unaware of this:


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