Omega Race

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Omega Race
Omega Race (2).jpg
Box cover of Coleco Vision adaptation
Developer(s) Midway
Publisher(s) Midway
Platform(s) Arcade, Atari 2600, Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64
Release date(s) 1981
Genre(s) Arcade
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Cartridge

Omega Race is an arcade game programmed by Ron Haliburton[1] and released in 1981 by Midway. It was the only arcade game with vector graphics Midway created.


In 1982 the editors of Consumer Guide magazine published a book entitled How To Win At Video Games, which featured detailed strategies for nine of the most popular arcade games of the time. Omega Race was chosen as one such game, mostly due to its approachability. The book states that "any unskilled player can pop a quarter into the machine and stay up there for up to 20,000 points." According to the book, more than 35,000 machines were created, with the average machine taking in $181.00 per week at the time of the book's publication.[2] Frequently, it was one of the top ten money-making arcade machines in any given week in that time period.[2]


Set in the year 2003, the game involves using a spaceship to destroy enemy droid ships. The player's ship is controlled using a spinner to rotate the ship's direction, a button for thrusting, and a button for firing lasers. The enemies that the player must destroy or avoid are drone ships, commander ships, two types of space mines, and shooting star ships. Extra ships were usually awarded at 40,000 and 100,000 points, but this default setting could be changed by the machine's owner. Its gameplay has been compared to Asteroids, in that the game uses black and white vector graphics and the ship is moved using a thrust button. Unlike Asteroids, the ship wasn't allowed to warp to the other side of the screen; it would bounce off an invisible barrier on the edges of the screen that would briefly appear when something hit it.


Compute! called Omega Race "a real winner for the VIC".[3] BYTE stated that the VIC-20 version "is fast paced, has colorful graphics, and features good sound effects ... Omega Race is a fun game that retains all the best characteristics of the arcade version".[4] Ahoy! called the VIC-20 version "fairly faithful to the arcade game, and very exciting".[5]


Versions of the game were released for some home video game consoles of the early to mid 80s, including the Atari 2600 and ColecoVision, as well as the VIC-20 and Commodore 64 home computers. The Atari 2600 version came bundled with a special 2-button, 'booster grip,' controller. As of 2007, Omega Race remains absent from every collection[citation needed] in the Midway Arcade Treasures series.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Editors of Consumers Guide, The (individuals uncredited). (1982), How To Win At Video Games. Publications International, Ltd. ISBN 0-517-38119-2.
  3. ^ Herman, Harvey B. (October 1982). "Four New Cartridges for VIC-20". Compute!. p. 132. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Wszola, Stan (March 1983). "Omega Race for the VIC-20". BYTE. p. 251. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Salm, Walter (1984-03). "VIC Game Buyer's Guide". Ahoy!. p. 49. Retrieved 27 June 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]