Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest
Arcade / Williams Electronics. 1986
Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest is a classic arcade game developed and released by Williams Electronics in 1986. It is the sequel to the popular arcade game Joust, which was released in 1982. Joust 2 builds upon the gameplay mechanics of its predecessor, offering players a thrilling and challenging experience in a fantasy-themed world. Players control knights riding flying ostriches, tasked with defeating waves of enemy knights while navigating treacherous terrain.
Following the success of the original Joust, Williams Electronics sought to capitalize on its popularity by developing a sequel. Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest was the result of this effort, featuring enhanced graphics, new levels, and updated gameplay mechanics. The game was designed by John Newcomer, who also worked on the original Joust. Development began in 1985, and the game was released to arcades the following year.
Upon its release, Joust 2 received generally positive reviews from both players and critics. It was praised for its addictive gameplay, improved graphics, and challenging level design. The game’s unique premise and cooperative multiplayer mode also contributed to its popularity among arcade-goers. While it may not have achieved the same level of commercial success as its predecessor, Joust 2 remains a beloved classic among retro gaming enthusiasts.
Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest exists primarily as an arcade cabinet, though it has been included in various arcade game compilations and digital releases over the years. The game is closely related to the original Joust, sharing many core gameplay elements and mechanics. Additionally, it inspired a spin-off titled “Joust 2: Knights of the Flying Ostrich,” which was released for the Atari Lynx handheld console in 1992.
Due to its limited production run and the passage of time, original Joust 2 arcade cabinets have become increasingly rare and sought after by collectors. It is estimated that only a few hundred units were produced, further contributing to its scarcity. As a result, prices for a working Joust 2 cabinet can vary significantly depending on factors such as condition, location, and demand, with some units fetching several thousand dollars in the collectors’ market.
Joust 2 arcade cabinets are built around a custom-designed hardware platform developed by Williams Electronics. While specific hardware specifications may vary slightly between individual units, common components include a CRT monitor, a custom PCB (printed circuit board), joystick and button controls, power supply unit, and audio system. Replacement parts for Joust 2 cabinets can often be sourced from specialized arcade parts suppliers, including replacement joysticks, buttons, monitors, and PCB repair kits. However, due to the age of the hardware, sourcing compatible parts may become increasingly challenging over time, necessitating custom repairs or modifications by experienced technicians.