Mean Santa for the ATARI 2600

"unlimited" edition now available!



What could cause someone to "snap" after hundreds of years of generosity?
Was it the blatant commercialization of Christmas, with cheap decorations displayed in stores well before Halloween?
The threatened unionization of the elves?
Or perhaps international regulators who banned reindeer propulsion because the flatulence of nine reindeer was damaging the ozone layer?
Or was it just one naughty child too many?

Whatever the reason, Santa Claus has gone over to the dark side, and this Christmas won’t be the usual season of good will toward men.

“Maybe the children of the world would learn to appreciate the important things in life if they didn't spend Christmas focused on shiny new toys,”
Santa stated earlier this year. “Maybe this year, Santa will take away presents instead of delivering them...”

Instead of leaving lumps of coals in the stockings of the naughty children, Santa has decided to teach them a lesson –
and no rogue wind currents, bad weather, or guard dogs are going to get in his way.

And he’s asked for your help in executing his diabolical plan.


MEAN SANTA was originally released in 2009 in celebration of the 100th print issue of the 2600 Connection newsletter.

100 numbered cartridges were made. 1 of 100, 2 of 100, 3 of 100 etc.

The "unlimited edition" of MEAN SANTA game cartridge that is offered for purchase today is an unnumbered Atari 2600 game cartridge.



Included is :

an unnumbered game cartridge

a printed game manual


( The game cartridge has a slightly different game label than the original limited release of 100 cartridges from October 2009. )

On this screen, the object is to fly Mean Santa's sleigh through the night sky and safely land on a house roof.

On this screen, pressing SELECT allows you to choose the MEDIUM level.
Watch out for the rogue snowflake... it'll take Mean Santa's sleigh off-course.

Once inside the house, it's time for Mean Santa to get to work. Here, he is stealing all the wreaths in the house.
Hurry up - this is a game of speed. There is no time to waste. Best time wins.

Here, in the 25th house, Mean Santa has gotten caught by a dog.
Santa can easily slip and fall by touching a banana.
There are 25 houses and one final "challenge" screen in Mean Santa.


A special "thank you" goes out to Dan Skelton for creating the artwork and label and manual design.



Mean Santa "unlimited edition" is shipped via U.S. Mail.

In the USA:

Price: $25
Shipping: $3

please click here:

Outside the USA / International:

We also offer a PAL version of the same game for our international friends.

Email Tim at for more details / shipping quote.


Here's a video of the game in action!


A note from programmer John K. Harvey:


It may be hard to see a few of the features in the video, so here's a quick overview:

The game has 3 levels of difficulty: Easy / Medium / Hard

Easy mode:

  • Think of this as "Kids mode"

  • no chimney obstacles.

  • play the 5 "easy" houses + one easy final house

Medium mode:

  • "For Novice gamers"

  • has chimney obstacles

  • play the 5 "easy" houses plus 10 "medium" houses + one medium final house

Hard mode:

  • "Not for the faint of heart"

  • has chimney obstacles

  • play the 5 "easy" houses plus 10 "medium" houses + 10 "hard" houses + one hard final house


In short, the more houses that you have to deal with, the harder they get.

Houses come in waves of 5: you must complete all houses of a wave in order to move on to the next set of 5, with increasing difficulty.

When a house has been completed, it turns black to indicate that you've already been there, and you don't want to revisit it.

You only have 6 lives, and you can die in various ways:

  • crash into the chimney / house

  • land on a house that you already visited

  • get caught by the diabolical dog that chases you in later waves of houses (hard to see on the video)

  • during the final house, touch any diabolical dog

Survival is key. Can you make it to the end?

Everything else simply slows you down (lighting, snowballs, touching banana peels, missing houses).

While that may not seem to matter, I once heard that if you can get a near-perfect run of the game in each mode, something good may happen.

I always play on hard mode, and when there are just a few houses left, I become a nervous wreck, hoping I don't miss a single house or touch too many banana peels...for me, it's all about the perfect run.

Hope you enjoy it!





MEAN SANTA was originally released in 2009 in celebration of the 100th
print issue of the 2600 Connection newsletter.

100 numbered cartridges were made. 1 of 100, 2 of 100, 3 of 100, etc.

Ten of the 100 games ( 51 - 60 ) were released in PAL format for our international friends.


The Registered List of Mean Santa owners

1. Tim Duarte
2. Russ Perry Jr.
3. Al Backiel
4. Dan Skelton
5. Dane Stegman
6. Dan Iacovelli
7. Pete Holland Jr.
8. Todd Luckey
9. Rick Weis
10. Larry Porco
11. Tom Contello
12. Laurent Dziubas
13. John K. Harvey
14. Adrian Roberts
15. Paul C. Wilkins
16. Chad Edward Shumaker
17. Kai Darius Kohl
18. Scott Dayton
19. Jeff Rothkopf
20. Robert Kelly
21. Jerry Greiner
22. Christine Morris
23. John K. Harvey
24. Leonard Herman
25. Jose Artiles
26. Luke Sandel
27. Ian Baronofsky
28. James Randall
29. Mitch Hodges
30. Adam Zar
31. GameTimeVault
32. Edward Mann
33. Brooke Trautwein
34. Jim Paul
35. Brian Fullmer
36. Eric Burghos
37. Rob Odlin
38. Eugenio Angueira
39. Mark Kohler
40. Sandy Huner
41. Carl Howard
42. Bohus Blahut
43. Bob Lechner
44. Joseph Cristina
45. Brian Hill
46. Jose Garcia
47. Tom Contello
48. Jason Brassard
49. Jason Brassard
50. Jason Brassard
51. Marc Oberhauser PAL
52. Dr C D Watson PAL
53. Cyril Denis PAL
54. Marco Kerstens PAL
55. Maya Rozenshein PAL
56. Neoayato PAL
57. Simon Quernhorst PAL
58. Bryan Gruszka PAL
59. Tad Bratkowski PAL
60. Michael Weiss PAL
61. Lance Bohy
62. Dan Ludemann
63. Dan Skelton
64. Dan Skelton
65. Jeffrey O'Connell
66. Stephanie Payne
67. Bill Demian
68. Stuff Buyers
69. Glenn Campbell
70. Robert Morriss
71. Jozef Wiencis
72. Walter Lauer
73. Jorg Muller
74. Jorg Muller
75. Jeffrey Beegle
76. Jacob Davis
77. Chris Derrig
78. David W. Harshbarger
79. Dan Cage
80. Darrin Laura
81. William C. Kopec
82. Stone Age Gamer
83. John Hancock
84. Charles Dysert
85. Mark Terry
86. Mat Allen
87. Matthew Tajc
88. Matthew Davis
89. Scott Waters
90. Gary Holmes
91. Benjamin Martin
92. Michael Molero
93. Lowell Duncan Jr.
94. Terry Bullock
95. Daryl Lytle
96. Bill Loguidice - Galaxy
97. Steven Damon
98. Lee Krueger
99. Sean R. (Seanhq)
100. Michael D'Onofrio



Revival magazine:


Ahhhh...there's nothing that wreaks more of the holidays than late January, a homebrew Atari 2600 game, and Santa Claus going on a drunken rampage, robbing houses, and holding up young children at gunpoint.

Let’s take a look at what comes with the game Mean Santa: Let’s start by looking at the cover art because honestly, the front cover of this game is what makes it. It’s worth buying it just for this! You have Santa Claus in a mask, with a gun, holding like an 8 year old kid at gunpoint, taking his presents. That’s so disturbing, yet so classic, that I have no words to describe it. I’m just going to give it a thumb’s up. I love it. 

Let’s go over to the back [ of the case ]. You’ve got some screen shots here. Basically, Santa is pissed off at all the kids who misbehaved during the year. So instead of leaving coal, he is going to rob them. Good for Santa! 

[ The cartridge ] has the same art that they have on the cover of the box. It looks really good. It looks really professional, too! Obviously, they would not have a licensed Atari game with Santa holding up a kid at gunpoint…but, hey… 

The premise of the game is really simple: What you have to do is land on the roofs of all these houses, go inside, steal whatever they got, and get back out. In the final house, you have to steal Christmas dinner and not get caught by the dogs. Do that and you complete the game. In all honesty, on EASY mode, the game is “retarded-ly” simple. It’s not even worth playing. On MEDIUM and HARD, it actually becomes kind of a challenge because you have a thundercloud shooting lightning at you, you have the “beach ball sized” snowflakes coming at you. You have to land on the roof. You can’t land on a chimney. If you land on a chimney, you crash and burn to the ground. 

It’s not the most exciting thing in the world. It’s a cool little gimmick though. You’ll play for 10 minutes and enjoy it. 

The only “real huge beef” I have with this game is they could have been a little more original. 
Like when you go into a house, I don’t think anyone would have 14 candy canes just laying around on the floor, or 12 wreaths just laying around. 
Besides for that, it’s a cool concept. I liked it a lot. My final verdict is: I would say pick this one up if you can find it. 
There was only 100 of these made. It has adequate graphics, and honestly if you’re a collector, it’s something really cool to have. 



"Everything looks great! The higher levels are very challenging, but it was nice of you to include the easy level for kids to play. Thanks to everyone involved!" 

"Just would like to say this game is great, even after several tries. The fact there is a lot of locked game modes is excellent. 
I have just found a 'special' mode but fails at house 28...
Do other game modes exist after the 'special' one? 
And is it possible to access to this game mode without finishing the other ones? 
I have my answer: I've just finished the 'special'game mode (my time is 10:21). 
I think the last house is #31. But no additional mode after beating the 'special' mode. 
The last houses with the dog are not really easy! My thumb is used now!! (I have played this on a 7800) 

"Pretty good game and the packaging with the hard plastic case, artwork and manual is very nice. 
Very reasonably priced. I would recommend picking one up." 

"A note to everyone: Buy this fun little holiday game! 
I got mine a while back and have been playing it quite a bit, it's just that right mix of quirky fun to keep you playing for hours!" 

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