1984 Datasoft

Platforms: Atari 400/800, Apple II and PC

If you have never played Mancopter on the Commodore 64, then you are really missing out. It is one of the great early C64 games which feels like an extended version of Joust across across a treacherous sea. In the game, you fly your ‘Mancopter’ , peddling to fly and avoid others in their copters and pass as many as you can.


Thanks to a contributor, only known as ‘Dan’, we’ve been shown clear plans for conversions to the Atari, PC and Apple platforms, as shown in a schedule in a Datasoft sales leaflet. The C64 version looked to be the lead edition, with the others following afterwards.

Sadly neither platform would get to enjoy the same delights as C64 users and both conversions are still currently at large. The release schedule suggests that the Atari edition was at least started, though it is unsure on the Apple 2 edition.

The only credits known currently are for the C64 edition with Scott Spanburg on coding, Kelly Day on graphics and John A. Fitzpatrick on music. It is plausible that they may have had some involvement on the other conversions, or at least know who was working on them. If you know anything more, please do get in touch with us.

One interesting thing of note is that the leaflet contained what seems to be an unused loading screen. Could this have been from the Apple/Atari/PC edition? It may well have just been a quick mock up to show a screenshot on the page.

With thanks to Dan for the submission.



2 Responses to Mancopter

  1. -According whit the catalog a PC version like Apple II was planned.

    -The box art of Commodore 64 version and disk had Nichibutsu USA and Datasoft sticker, so might was a unreleased proto/limited arcade release?. But in that catalog Mancopter appears as a Datasoft’s Trademark separately from Moon Shuttle Nichibutsu’s Trademark. So it was an error by Datasoft making the box art and disk sticker whit Nichibutsu USA trademark?

    It would be interesing ask to Scott Spanburg (coding) and/or Kelly Day (graphics) and/or John A. Fitzpatrick (music) to clarify if they got the sources from an arcade game or other home system or it’s an original idea.

    • Thanks MT234 – forgot to add the PC format onto the list, so will fix that now.

      Yeah, there have been rumours that the original game may have been from an unreleased Nichibutsu arcade (, but there hasn’t been any evidence yet to suggest there was. As you say, its one for Scott, Kelly or John to hopefully shed some light on. I’ll see if I can get hold of one of them to find out more.

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