Street Racer (Atari 2600 video game)
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer (up to four players)|
|Distribution||Atari 2600 cartridge|
Street Racer is an early racing video game developed for the Atari 2600, then known as the VCS (Video Computer System). It was programmed by Larry Kaplan and released by Atari in September 1977 as one of the nine Atari 2600 launch titles. The game was also released by Sears by their Tele-Games product line as Speedway II.
- 1–6: Street racer
- 7–12: Slalom
- 13–16: Dodgem
- 17–20: Jet shooter
- 21–24: Number cruncher
- 25–27: Scoop ball
Each of the sub-games has roughly the same gameplay: the player controls a vehicle that must avoid or collect certain objects as they scroll down the screen. Between one and four players can compete simultaneously by using the paddle controllers, which allow the vehicle to move left and right along the bottom of the screen. If a one-player game is selected, the player competes with a static computer opponent that allows objects to collide with it or pass by.
As one of the earliest games written for the platform, Street Racer suffered from unattractive, blocky graphics. According to Kaplan himself, later racing games released for the Atari, such as Activision's 1982 games Barnstorming and Grand Prix, were able to offer improved graphics and gameplay. In a 2007 interview, Kaplan was asked what he would change about any of the games he had written:
Street Racer is the game that lacks good game play. I took out the moving playfield because it didn't flow right (it tended to flicker). If I could change the game to have a smooth-scrolling playfield, it would make the game play better.—Larry Kaplan, Digital Press interview
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- Buchanan, Levi (August 26, 2008). "Top 10 Best-Selling Atari 2600 Games". IGN. Retrieved August 31, 2010.