Someone made a browser version of Screwball Scramble

Browser version of Screwball Scramble

Screwball Scramble, the classic 1980s toy, is now playable in a web browser thanks to a fan build – but don’t tell Tomy.


If you’re a child of the 1980s, you’ll no doubt have fond memories of Tomy’s iconic Screwball Scramble toy. Originally released in 1979, the toy sees you guiding a ball bearing across wobbly bridges, through mazes and over jumps using some wonderfully tactile big orange buttons and toggle sticks. It was certainly a big hit in our house, with some intense sibling rivalry over who could complete it in the quickest time.

Now, thanks to a fan build by Reddit user captainepeper, you can play Screwball Scramble in your web browser. It’s a lovely, vibrant recreation, complete with a bedroom backdrop, and it’s just as tricky as we remember – and just as compelling. Our one gripe is that the buttons aren’t quite as responsive as we’d like them to be, and obviously it’s lacking the tactility of the plastic original, but it’s still a joyful recreation of an 80s classic that has fired up the old nostalgia glands on an otherwise moribund Tuesday morning.

However, if you want to play it yourself, best get stuck in now before Tomy gets wind. In a Reddit comment, captainepeper notes that he hasn’t sought permission from the toy company, adding: “I’m just hopping [sic] it doesn’t get too much attention, and I don’t have any publicity on it”. Let’s hope Tomy isn’t reading this, then.

Screwball Scramble is still being manufactured by Tomy today, and the company released a sequel, Screwball Scramble Level 2, in 2021. Level 2 connects with the original game to make it twice as long, adding in a whole new course of tricky obstacles to guide the ball through.

Oh, and if you’re after another video game that’s a bit like Screwball Scramble, we’d recommend the charming Kororinpa on the Nintendo Wii. It really is a corker.

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