Release 1983

Program/Sound: Dave Durran

CATALOG DESCRIPTION (Atari 2600 version, Imagic Numb Thumb News Vol. 2, 1983)

Discover Neptune's Trident! But how? As a magical seagull, flap your wings and fly for shore. Grab speeding clouds but beware! Blackbirds and erupting volcanos thwart your every move. Find the Trident then head for the sea. Careful, danger lurks in the briny deep!

Take the plunge and swing your fin as an enchanted dolphin. Snarls of seaweed and sinister octopuses keep you from touching precious seahorses. Keep diving - magic awaits in the ocean depths.

At the bottom, a mermaid appears, trapped in a mystical cage. Free her with the magical Trident.


Programmer Dave Durran had worked at Mattel Electronics on the hardware designs of the Intellivision Master and Keyboard Components and Intellivoice before leaving to join the startup Imagic. At Imagic he wrote much of the system code used in game development and worked on the hardware design of the Imagic cartridge ROMs. He also wrote the sound effects for the games.

With everything else he was working on, he says that writing Fathom was a "kind of afterthought." It was designed to be a children's game with (mostly) friendly characters and an easily understood goal. The theme is the same as Imagic's Atari 2600 Fathom designed by Rob Fulop, but the gameplay is slightly different.

Imagic later released a version of Fathom for Colecovision

EXPERTS CLUB PERFORMANCE STANDARD: Fathom was released after the final Numb Thumb newsletter, so no performance standard was published for the game.