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Captain America and the Avengers
Arcade flyer
Data East
  • Koji Jinbo
  • Iwao Horita
Designer(s)Hidenobu Ito
  • Tac H.
  • Hiroshi Ōnuki
  • K. Miyazawa
  • Masanori Tokoro
  • Sonomi Kiyota
  • Wataru Oguri
  • Atsushi Takahashi
  • Tatsuya Kiuchi
  • Tomoyoshi Sato
October 1991
  • October 1991: Arcade[1]
    December 1991: NES
    1992: Genesis/Mega Drive
    1993: SNES, Game Gear
    1994: Game Boy
Genre(s)Beat 'em up, scrolling shooter
Mode(s)Up to 4 players simultaneously

Captain America and the Avengers[a] is a beat 'em up arcade game developed and released by Data East in 1991. It features the Avengers team of Marvel Comics characters in a side-scrolling brawling and shooting adventure to defeat the evil Red Skull. The game received ports for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy and Game Gear. A different Data East game was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System.


The Red Skull has assembled an army of supervillains and other henchmen in a plot to take over the world. Along with battling generic enemies, players also face Klaw, the Living Laser, Whirlwind, a Sentinel, Wizard, the Grim Reaper, the Mandarin, Juggernaut, Ultron, The Controller, the assassin Crossbones and finally the Red Skull himself.

Players can choose to play as one of four members of the Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Vision. Each character can fight hand-to-hand, throw select items when on the ground, and use a ranged special attack, either a projectile weapon (Captain America's shield and Hawkeye's arrows) or an energy beam (Iron Man and Vision), known as that character's "Avenger Attack". During a jump, Captain America and Hawkeye can attack with a flying kick, while Iron Man and Vision instead attack by firing their energy beams at a 45 degree angle. Other Avengers, including the Wasp, Quicksilver, Wonder Man, and Namor the Sub-Mariner, appear when special power-ups are collected, allowing those characters to temporarily assist the players' characters.

Most game levels feature side-scrolling fighting, with free movement as in traditional arcade brawlers. Occasionally, players take flight for side-scrolling flying & shooting sequences; Iron Man and Vision fly on their own, while Captain America and Hawkeye use flying machines.


Screenshot of the 1991 two-player arcade version.

The original arcade game was sold in two forms. One version allowed four players to play simultaneously, with each player position controlling a specific character. An alternate version featured two-player gameplay, with players able to select from any of the available four characters.

Ports and related releases

Data East released a home version of the game in North America for the Sega Genesis co-developed with ISCO/Opera House.[2][3] This version was published in Europe by Sega for the Mega Drive. The game was later licensed to Mindscape, who released its own ports of the arcade game for the Super NES, Game Boy and Game Gear. The versions published by Mindscape were developed by Realtime Associates.[4]

Data East also released a different NES game with the same title. The NES version is a side-scrolling action platform game. The only playable characters in this version are Captain America and Hawkeye; their mission is to save the Vision and Iron Man from Mandarin, then defeat the Red Skull. As with the Genesis/Mega Drive port, the NES game was developed in Japan but not released there.

Data East's third and final entry in their Captain America and The Avengers licensed video games was the 1995 Avengers in Galactic Storm, which was an arcade exclusive fighting game that became the first to feature assist characters and duplex desperation moves.

In 2021, Arcade1Up released the game in a special Marvel themed cabinet that also featured Avengers in Galactic Storm and X-Men.[5]

Other appearances in media

An arcade cabinet of the game can be spotted in the 1994 comedy Airheads.

One page of Matt Fraction and David Aja's run of Hawkeye comics directly lifts from the arcade game's artwork.



In the United States, it topped the RePlay arcade earnings chart for upright arcade cabinets in November 1991.[12] In Japan, Game Machine listed Captain America and The Avengers on their January 1, 1992 issue as being the fourth most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[13]

The November 1991 issue of Sinclair User gave it the shared award for "Games Most Likely To Save The Universe" as one of the best superhero games, along with Spider-Man: The Video Game and Captain Commando.[9]

Game Gear

In reviewing the Game Gear version, GamePro called the game "a forgettable scroller" with mediocre animation and sound.[8] Electronic Gaming Monthly said it "fares well on this Game Gear version, even without the Two-player Simultaneous Play Option". [sic][6]


In 2018, Complex ranked the SNES version 85th on their "The Best Super Nintendo Games of All Time".[14]


  1. ^ Japanese: キャプテンアメリカアンドジアベンジャーズ, Hepburn: Kyaputen Amerika ando ji Abenjāzu


  1. ^ Akagi, Masumi (October 13, 2006). アーケードTVゲームリスト国内•海外編(1971–2005) [Arcade TV Game List: Domestic • Overseas Edition (1971–2005)] (in Japanese). Japan: Amusement News Agency. pp. 114–5. ISBN 978-4990251215.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "株式会社オペラハウス". Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Realtime Associates - Past Projects". Archived from the original on 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  5. ^ "X-Men Arcade, Killer Instinct, Dragon's Lair, and More Announced by Arcade1Up".
  6. ^ a b "Review Crew: Captain America". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 57. EGM Media, LLC. April 1994. p. 46.
  7. ^ Moon, Billy R. (December 1993). "Captain America and the Avengers". Game Players. No. 35. p. 176. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Captain America and the Avengers". GamePro. No. 58. IDG. May 1994. p. 130.
  9. ^ a b "Coin Ops - Games Most Likely To Save The Universe". Sinclair User. November 1991. pp. 62–63.
  10. ^ "Captain America and The Avengers (Arcade) Review". Archived from the original on 2014-11-16.
  11. ^ "Captain America and The Avengers (NES) Review". Archived from the original on 2014-11-16.
  12. ^ "RePlay: The Players' Choice". RePlay. Vol. 17, no. 2. November 1991. p. 4.
  13. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 418. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 January 1992. p. 37.
  14. ^ Knight, Rich (April 30, 2018). "The Best Super Nintendo Games of All Time". Complex. Retrieved 2022-01-26.