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River Raid

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Released: 1983

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Activision

Submitted by: Anthony Staude

The aim of the game is to fly up a scrolling river, collecting fuel and destroying the enemy. A lovely conversion from the Atari 2600 original. Silky smooth scrolling and loads of action. Graphics are simple yet functional.

You jet is limited to flying up a river – why it can’t fly beyond the river banks is anyone’s guess (below radar?)

The river starts out wide and easy with few enemies but soon you find your first inpasse – a bridge! You can’t fly under it so you have to blow it away.

Later on the river thins out and gets quite windy often splitting into two paths.

Placement of enemies gets more devious, often launching at a precise intercepting course. Whilst boats, helicopters and balloons are slow, the enemy jets are vicious buggers.

Initially your fuel load is plentiful and you even have the luxurious choice of blowing up fuel dumps for points or zooming over them to collect and top up your reserves.

Astute players will slow down whilst over fuel to maximize refilling and then blow it up at the end to gain all it’s bonuses!

Save-points are in the form of bridges. If you die horribly or run out of fuel, you next jet starts as the last bridge you destroyed.

It’s a classic game for me, I remember playing it during one of those 80’s computer fairs and being absolutely captivated. It’s probably what got me on to shooters in the first place.

There are many conversions of River Raid for most 8-bit formats, I think this is a great conversion, on par with the Commodore 64 version, but the broader palette and greater variation of options of the Atari 8-bit version makes it a winner.

Get it now if you own an Atari 8-bit computer!