Death Race (video game)
Arcade flyer of Death Race.
|Mode(s)||2 player simultaneous|
|Display||Black and white 25" raster|
Death Race, also known as Death Race 2000 is a controversial arcade game, released by Exidy in the United States in 1976. Approximately 500 copies of the game were made. The game board is one of a very few that does not use a CPU.[clarification needed] The game is inspired by the film Death Race 2000. It is also one of the first games to feature vehicular combat gameplay.
In the game, designed by Howell Ivy and inspired by the 1975 cult film Death Race 2000 directed by Paul Bartel, one or two players control an on-screen car (two cars if two players played) with a steering wheel and an acceleration pedal. The object is to run down "gremlins" who are fleeing the vehicle. As the player hits them, they scream or squeal and are replaced on-screen by tombstones. This increases the challenge of the game as the screen clutters up and the player has to avoid the tombstones.
The cabinet is black with white graphics of a muscle car racing through a cemetery with a vulture in a tree looking on. The marquee and monitor bezel are quite colorful. A limited number had white sides with the artwork in black, instead of the reverse. It was in an upright standard style.
Although the graphics are primitive and monochrome, the "gremlins" resemble stick figures and the game's working title had been Pedestrian. In spite of Exidy president Pete Kaufman's denial that the intent of the game was to promote violence, Death Race provoked media criticism. The National Safety Council called it sick and morbid. The CBS news program 60 Minutes broadcast an investigation into the psychological impact of video games, and the game was covered on NBC's Weekend news show, and in the National Enquirer and Midnight magazine. Death Race is rated on several "most controversial video game" lists.
Funspot has a working arcade machine in an all yellow cabinet. An original arcade version of Death Race is present in the Musée Mécanique in San Francisco, and costs one quarter to play. The Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, Illinois received an original black cabinet as a donation.
- Death Race at the Killer List of Videogames
- Death Race at the Internet Movie Database
- The Dot Eaters entry on the history of Death Race and Exidy
- The GameRoom Blog: Rare Game Room Gems — Death Race by Exidy
-  GameSpot feature on controversial games