Shortly after the release of the 1989 Batman film Atari released an arcade title based on the movie (aptly titled, of course, Batman) in 1990. The arcade game follows the plot of the movie for the most part as you, the player, take on the role of Batman has he cleans up crime on the streets of Gotham City, chases Jack Napier in the Axis Chemical Factory, pursues The Joker in the art museum, returns to the streets of Gotham, and finally follows The Joker to the top of the cathedral. The game is essentially a Final Fight clone in which Batman can punch and jump his way through packs of enemies. The Bat can pick up gadgets such as the batarang that he can use against his foes. Running out of bat-lives gives the player the option to continue by dropping more coins in the slot. With enough cash on hand it's possible to finish the game with little trouble.

In between some rounds the game shifts to a first-person behind-the-wheel mode as the player takes control of the Batmobile and the Batwing. The object in these levels is to shoot the enemy vehicles and, in the Batwing levels, to snag The Joker's Smilex-gas-filled balloons for bonus points.

What makes this game shine are the graphics and audio. Batman is a large, well colored sprite and the world he inhabits is, without arguement, Tim Burton's Gotham City. Dark colors abound with little bits of Joker orange and green for color. Between rounds still scenes from the film are shown in amazing detail, including a close-up of Jack Nicholson as The Joker and Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne. The music is based on tunes from the movie (excluding Prince's soundtrack) and characters speak digitized sound bites from the film, including "The pen is mightier than the sword!" and "Wait 'til they get a load of me."

Overall Batman is a fun waste of an hour. It's difficult to find the game in the arcades these days, but it is fully emulatable in MAME if you can find the romset. Where does he get those wonderful toys, anyway?