Getaway! (video game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Publisher(s)Atari Program Exchange
Designer(s)Mark Reid [1]
Platform(s)Atari 8-bit

Getaway! is a crime-themed, multidirectional-scrolling maze game for the Atari 8-bit family. It was designed by Mark Reid and published by the Atari Program Exchange (APX) in 1982.[1] The game won the 1983 $25,000 Atari Star Award for best APX submission,[2][3] following My First Alphabet (1981) and Typo Attack (1982). Reid, a chemical engineer,[3] wrote two games for APX prior to Getaway!: Solitaire and the skiing game Downhill.[4]

APX also sold 2 × 3 foot posters of the Getaway! city map illustrated by Jim M'Guinness. A section of the poster was used for the cover of the Fall 1983 APX catalog.[5]


Getaway! takes place on multidirectional-scrolling map of a town, 35 screens in size, containing bridges, factories, neighborhoods, and an airport.[6] The player leaves the hideout and drives around the city using up gasoline in the process. Pausing at a gas station refills the tank. Also in the maze are dollar signs (which give a little money when collected), armored vans (which give a lot of money and immediately alert the police), and three loot items. Completing a level requires collecting all three loot items, then the armored van, and then returning to the hideout. A level must be completed within one day/night cycle.[7]

The more money being carried, the more aggressive the three different police vehicles are. If the player is caught, any money carried at the time is lost. Money is locked-in by dropping it off at the hideout, where it becomes part of the player's permanent stash. This can be done at any time. As the game progresses, police begin setting up roadblocks.[8] Running a roadblock puts a hole in the gas tank, causing it to drain quickly until stopping at a gas station.[7]

The value of the dollar signs goes up with each level, in addition to there being new loot items to collect. Each level has an associated rating, starting with "Hoodlum," then "Lowlife," with the seventh level being "The Boss."[7]


Reid wrote an Atari BASIC program to let him draw the city map.[2]

Getaway! originally contained music from police-themed TV shows, such as Dragnet, but it was removed before submitting the game to APX because Reid did not have permission to use it.[2]


According to Reid, Atari was impressed with Getaway! and had "big plans" for the game, but the North American video game crash of 1983 occurred before this could happen.[2]

In a 1983 review for COMPUTE! magazine, Steven Levy wrote, "The first time I played Getaway! I was impressed by the detail of the graphics. In fact, I was so intrigued that I put off actually playing until I'd toured the town." He called the game a variation on the maze concept, but added "the difference is that, in Getaway! there is much more variety and detail to deal with."[8]


In January 2017, Reid made available a collection of programming documents from when he was working on the game, as well as correspondence with APX and Antic Software.[9]


  1. ^ a b Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  2. ^ a b c d Reminiscing: Getaway!, June 1996
  3. ^ a b Mace, Scott (February 20, 1984). "Electronic Antics: Is your game a winner?". InfoWorld.
  4. ^ "Games by Mark Reid". Atari Mania.
  5. ^ "APX Product Catalog". Fall 1983.
  6. ^ Inscore, Jim (June 1983). "The Great Escape Game from APX". The Atari Connection. 3 (2): 8–9.
  7. ^ a b c Reid, Mark (1982). Getaway! Manual (PDF). Atari Program Exchange.
  8. ^ a b Levy, Steven (September 1983). "Getaway! for the Atari". Compute! (40): 180.
  9. ^ "Mark Reid - Getaway! archives".

External links[edit]