|Release date(s)||4 September 1989|
|Genre(s)||Racing, Shoot 'em up|
S.T.U.N. Runner (Spread Tunnel Underground Network Runner) is a fast-paced, racing/shooter arcade game released by Atari Games in 1989. The player pilots a futuristic "speed bike" at speeds of up to and even exceeding 900 mph through various tunnels and courses, with changing environments, hazards and enemies. The final goal is to reach the "Ultimate Challenge", an endless race filled with surprises, where the player must simply get as far as possible in the allotted time. Markers on the Ultimate Challenge course show the names of the five players who have traveled the farthest, who are tracked independently of the game's traditional high score table.
S.T.U.N. Runner's elaborate cabinet was designed to resemble the craft that the player pilots in-game. The player straddles a red S.T.U.N. bike with the flight yoke-style controls immediately in front. Twin triggers fire laser cannons mounted atop the craft, and the Start buttons double as the triggers for the Shockwave "smart bomb" weapon. S.T.U.N. Runner was notable for its early use of high-speed 3D polygonal graphics, and was based on an evolution of Atari's pioneering Hard Drivin' hardware.
S.T.U.N. Runner was also released for Atari's Lynx, in 1991. This version, due to the Lynx's inability to render 3D graphics, relied on 2D hardware scaling techniques to generate the effect of fully 3D levels. All other objects (Main car, obstacles, etc.) were scaled 2D sprites. Due to the Lynx's small screen, these slight differences were not noticeable during gameplay. The Lynx version, unusually for a handheld version of an arcade game and despite these alterations, is widely considered the best and most faithful of all the home conversions of S.T.U.N. Runner.
S.T.U.N. Runner is included in its original arcade form in Midway Arcade Treasures 3, a compilation of arcade racing games for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. It was also released for various home computer systems such as Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum. It was released in its original arcade form for Windows PCs on the compilation disc Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition, by Midway, in 2006.
- Game info, Midway Arcade Treasures 3
- Manual, Midway Arcade Treasures 3