Dodge 'Em

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Dodge 'Em
Dodge Em cover.jpg
Developer(s) Atari, Inc.
Publisher(s) Atari, Inc.
Designer(s) Carla Meninsky[1]
Platform(s) Atari 2600
Release date(s) 1980
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) One-Player, Two-Player
Distribution cartridge

Dodge 'Em is a 1980 Atari 2600 video game, a driving game based on a single screen of four concentric roadways. The player controls one car and has to drive counter-clockwise, avoiding computer-controlled cars whose sole aim is to produce a head-on collision. Each roadway of the maze has four gaps in it — at the top, bottom, left, and right of the screen — the player can use the gaps to change lanes in order to pick up other dots or to avoid the computer-controlled cars.[2]

The Dodge 'Em cartridge includes three versions of the game, accessible through the Game Select switch on the Atari 2600.[3] The first game is for one player, and the remaining two are for two players. The second game has the two players, one player playing the role of the player's car, alternating turns. In the third game, one player plays one car the other player controls the other car at the same time, alternating turns.

The player drives over dots while traveling around each ring, similar to maze games such as Sega's Head On (1979) and Namco's Pac-Man (1980). A screen is completed once the player has driven over every dot.

The player's car can travel at two speeds, a 'normal' speed which is the same speed as computer-controlled cars, or if the player presses the controller button, his or her car travels at a 'fast' speed double its normal speed. The computer-controlled cars have only one speed. Players change lanes by pushing the controller in the appropriate direction when their car is near one of the gaps in the roadway.

The difficulty switches adjust the speed and the starting position of the computer-controlled car. Screens 1 and 2 have a single opposing car; 3 through 5 feature two. Screen 6 is as if going back screen 1, losing one life. The point counter resets at 1,000, although it reads as " 00" (with the hundreds digit blank) due to an error. A killscreen occurs at " 80" (1080 points) even if a player plays perfectly.

Dodge 'Em was made available on Microsoft's Game Room service for its Xbox 360 console and for Windows-based PCs on August 11, 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yarusso, Albert. "Programmers: Carla Meninsky". AtariAge. Retrieved December 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ http://www.mobygames.com/game/atari-2600/dodge-em Moby Games. "Dodge 'Em" for Atari 2600," (retrieved on March 8th, 2009).
  3. ^ http://www.atariage.com/box_page.html?SoftwareLabelID=144 Atari Age. "Atari 2600 Boxes - Dodge 'Em," (retrieved on March 8th, 2009).