Hazard Run

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Hazard Run
Hazard Run.jpg
Cover art
Publisher(s) Artworx
Programmer(s) Dennis R. Zander[1]
Platform(s) Atari 8-bit family
Release
  • WW: 1982
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player

Hazard Run is a 1982 racing video game developed by Dennis R. Zander and published by Artworx for the Atari 8-bit family.[2] In 1984, Artworx considered re-publishing the game as a tie-in to the television series, The Dukes of Hazzard.

Gameplay[edit]

Hazard Run is played from an overhead perspective, with vertically scrolling arcade-style gameplay.[3][4][5] The player, controlling the Gee Lee car,[2] must escape a crooked sheriff while avoiding hazards such as ducks, fences, rocks, rivers, and trees. The player is given five cars, which act as lives. The player will lose a car if an obstacle is hit. The player's car can be driven on two tires when it is necessary to maneuver through tight areas. The game features five courses, known as "runs", with each one longer than the previous one.[3][4]

The player is required to save up extra gasoline in later levels, and must do so by driving over gas cans. The game's perspective switches to a side view when the player's vehicle approaches a river. If the vehicle successfully jumps across the river, the perspective reverts to an aerial view. Upon clearing the final river, the pursuing police vehicle lands in the water. Bars from the song "Dixie" play after each river jump, regardless of the player's outcome.[3][4]

Reception[edit]

Derrick Bang, writing for Softline magazine, wrote that the game's "major problem" was its joystick control scheme. Bang also criticized the "Dixie" music played in each of the game's river sections: "it would be nicer (and preferable psychologically) to hear something different as a reward for making the jump." Bang concluded that the game "is just a bit too primitive for today's market and will be of interest mostly to neophytes and young children."[3]

Ted Salamone of Electronic Games called the game "well conceived" but "poorly executed." Salamone criticized the game's "sloppy play action" and wrote that the graphics "finish in first and last place. Some (the overhead view of a car and trees) are done well, while others (the auto's side view when jumping water) look like a sixth grader's first art project."[4] In 1991, New Atari User gave the game a "mediocre" score of two stars out of four, calling it, "Pretty shallow," while also noting its rarity.[5]

Licensing[edit]

In 1984, Artworx considered licensing the title of the popular television series, The Dukes of Hazzard, for Hazard Run to be re-published as a tie-in to the series. Artworx later rejected the idea considering the aftermath of the 1983 video game crash, which involved many licensed games receiving a negative reputation for their simple concepts and gameplay. The cost to purchase the license was also deemed too high, considering the small size of the software market at the time. The Dukes of Hazzard was the only title Artworx ever seriously considered licensing.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers". dadgum.com. 
  2. ^ a b "Artworx. It's A Whole New World of Software". ANALOG Computing. May 1982. p. 20. Retrieved August 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Bang, Derrick (September 1982). "Hazard Run" (PDF). Softline. p. 25. Retrieved August 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Salamone, Ted (January 1985). "Hazard Run". Electronic Games. pp. 40–41. Retrieved August 14, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "The A-Z of Golden (and Not So Golden) Oldies: Hazzard Run". New Atari User. October 1991. p. 27. Retrieved August 14, 2016. 
  6. ^ Jermaine, John (June 1987). "Artworx Rejects Dukes of Hazzard". Commodore Magazine. p. 78. Retrieved August 14, 2016. 

External links[edit]