Family BASIC

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Family BASIC
Developer Nintendo, Hudson, Sharp
Publisher Nintendo
System Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date Nintendo Entertainment System
JP June 21, 1984
Rating ESRB: E

Family BASIC is a program jointly developed between Nintendo, Hudson, and Sharp for the NES. It came with an instruction booklet as well as a Family BASIC Keyboard.

There were plans to release Family BASIC outside of Japan, but they were ultimately abandoned. Nintendo didn't want the NES to be viewed as a computer system.


Family BASIC wasn't actually a game; it was a programming language so people could make their own games. Games could be saved using the Famicom Data Recorder. Interestingly, the game included background elements from Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Mario Bros..

There were actually three versions of Family BASIC. The first one was never released to the public. The third one had some changes including a simplified interface and premade games.


Family BASIC was the first game from Nintendo to support user created content. This idea would be expanded upon later with games like Mario Paint and Electroplankton.

Also, several popular games, including Excitebike and Lode Runner, were programmed using Family BASIC.

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