Popeye the Sailorpedia

This article is about the arcade game. For the character, see Popeye. For other meanings, see Popeye (disambiguation).

Popeye is a video game released by Nintendo for the arcades in 1982, not long after their hugely popular and also Popeye-inspired release, Donkey Kong. Popeye was later ported to various home systems such as the Atari 2600 and 5200, Intellivision, Colecovision, Nintendo Entertainment System and various others. A more colorful "remake", largely the same game with enhanced graphics, was released for mobile phones by the new license holder Namco in 2007.


Popeye Game.png

The object of the game is, as Popeye, to catch various items that are being released by Olive Oyl. Single-screen levels have to be traversed, usually back and forth, as the falling objects are being chased. The Sea Hag often appears and throws objects at Popeye, and vultures may roam the level, but the main enemy is Brutus (with his appearance very much the same as the one in the 1960s series), who roams the area to attack Popeye on sight and also throw bottles at him. The punch attack allows for the destruction of the enemy-sent projectiles and also to grab the available cans of spinach - the only way to (temporarily) do away with Brutus is to catch him after eating spinach. Duration of this empowerment is indicated by a brief rendition of "I'm Popeye The Sailor Man". The game is over after three instances of being hit or failing to retrieve a "good" object for a while after it has fallen. Grabbing them all leads to the next level, in an endless cycle.

Game progression

First level

Takes place in a dockside area near Popeye's and Olive's homes. After an intro where Brutus's declaration of love is rejected, Olive begins to send heart icons Popeye's way.

Second level

A more urban area where J. Wellington Wimpy and Swee'Pea can be seen (and bouncing from the one to the other can yield points), in which Olive plays the lute near the top with Popeye vying to catch her notes.

Third level (mobile only)

Olive sleepwalks through a construction site here, with "Z" letters raining down from her, to be collected.

Final level

A ship where the Sea Hag is keeping Olive captive. Grabbing the H-E-L-P letters she lets out will make a ladder gradually appear, but it cannot be climbed before it is finished; simply completing it will win the stage.

2021 remake

On November 4, 2021, independent developer Sabec LTD released a reimagining of Nintendo's original as a 3D action game for the Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, simply titled Popeye, to bad Metacritic scores. Reviews for the game list poorly-rendered graphics and environments, limited music in which a rendition of "The Sailor's Hornpipe" plays indefinitely during gameplay and is not looped properly, minimal use of sound effects, poor animations, poor optimization of the game itself causing lag spikes during stages, repeating stages, poor controls, repetitive gameplay, bad collision detection with enemies and environments, reuse of the same offical Popeye artwork throughout the game (at the title screen, between stages, and the end credits) and various glitches. The game also uses Unity store-bought assets for levels, from their Polygon Pirate Pack, and takes character models from fans' 3D-models and other websites, without crediting the original creators. Character animations are also taken from the Mixamo website.


  • This game was adapted into a board game by Parker Brothers in 1983.


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