Omega Race

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Omega Race
Omega Race (2).jpg
Box cover of Coleco Vision adaptation
Developer(s) Midway
Publisher(s) Midway
Platform(s) Arcade (original), Atari 2600, VIC-20, Commodore 64
Release 1981
Genre(s) Arcade
Mode(s) Single-player

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

Omega Race was ported to the VIC-20 and Commodore 64 in 1982 and sold by Commodore. In 1983, a ColecoVision port was released by Coleco and an Atari 2600 version by CBS Electronics. The 2600 cartridge came bundled with a 2-button, "booster grip" controller.[2]


Set in the year 2003, the game involves using a spaceship to destroy enemy droid ships. The player's ship is controlled with a spinner to rotate the ship, 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. The ship bounces off an invisible barrier on the edges of the screen that briefly appears when hit. By default, Extra ships are awarded at 40,000 and 100,000 points, but this can be changed by the machine's owner.


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.[3] Frequently, it was one of the top ten money-making arcade machines in any given week in that time period.[3]

Compute! called Omega Race "a real winner for the VIC".[4] 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".[5] Ahoy! called the VIC-20 version "fairly faithful to the arcade game, and very exciting".[6] The VIC-20 version of Omega Race was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the category of "Best Solitaire Computer Game" at the 4th annual Arkie Awards.[7]:33


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Omega Race by CBS Electronics". Atari Guide. 
  3. ^ a b Editors of Consumers Guide, The (individuals uncredited). (1982), How To Win At Video Games. Publications International, Ltd. ISBN 0-517-38119-2.
  4. ^ Herman, Harvey B. (October 1982). "Four New Cartridges for VIC-20". Compute!. p. 132. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Wszola, Stan (March 1983). "Omega Race for the VIC-20". BYTE. p. 251. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Salm, Walter (March 1984). "VIC Game Buyer's Guide". Ahoy!. p. 49. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (March 1983). "Arcade Alley: The Best Computer Games". Video. Reese Communications. 6 (12): 32–33. ISSN 0147-8907. 

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