It was written by Bernie Drummond and programmed by Jon Ritman and released under the Batman license by Ocean software.The first version was one of their more successful games and was well received by critics and called a classic which made Batman a popular name in the video game industry.
The game sports a monochrome style for 8-bit gaming. Batman’s sidekick Robin has been kidnapped by the Joker and the Riddler while he was repairing Batman’s Car. As Batman, players must save the Boy Wonder. But before Batman can save Robin, he must find seven missing parts of the bat-hovercraft that Robin left scattered throughout the Batcave and Bruce’s mansion. Batman also has to start off without his equipment that he must find, as players traverse the game’s 150 screens filled with nasty creatures, spiked traps, conveyer belts, lifts, and sinking floors.
The Bat-bag allows players to pick up and drop objects, the Bat-boots let players jump, the Thruster allows movement when falling but no control of speed and the Bat-belt is a low gravity belt that halves the speed of descent. Four extra powers and a fifth neutralizing power are also available. They fall from the ceiling at certain points along the way.
Players can become invincible, have extra energy and improved speed for a short time by acquiring Bat-pills. Extra lives can also be found strewn throughout the game. The jump power enables players to jump twice as high as normal. The neutralizer will cancel all of Batman’s extra powers and should be avoided.
Batman was the first game to have a checkpoint system built in as an option for players to restart from a point in the game. Batman collects a Bat signal to achieve this. It costs of one of a possible eight lives and returns the player with the previous amount of health and equipment intact.
A freeware/payware remake was made and produced by Kakarot, The GGG, Russell Hoy and System Halted for PC in 2001 as a DOS game and was called Watman. There was also another remake by the same developers for Game Boy Advance released in 2002 under the name Gwatman.