River Raid

Atari 2600

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Hello, my name is Matt, and I'm not a classic gamer. No matter how hard I tried, I could never sit for an extended period of time only to rack up a high score. I have to have some sort of finale, a conclusion, anything except a never-ending game. There are a few games that transcend this problem though. River Raid is one of the games that I could sit for hours and play, growing ever-frustrated by the monotony, but unable to drop the controller.

RR truly started the top-down shooter genre. Taking control of a pile of pixel.....err..plane, players fly over a river filled with planes, helicopters, boats, and fuel tanks (you would think that environmentalists would have a problem with fuel containers on the water..). The main point of the game is not only dodging and maneuvering, but managing an ever draining fuel supply. Shooting the containers rack up your score, but render them obsolete. Taking a wrong route could also get you in trouble. This helps keep the game fresh no matter how long you play.

The graphics are what you'd expect. Simplistic shapes take the form of planes and boats and the repeating houses on the sides add to the atmosphere. Everything is presented clearly so there's no ramming objects hidden in complicated backgrounds. The water is blue....the grass is green. What more could you possibly want for a 20 year old game?

The only sounds effect is the gunfire from your plane, explosions from the enemies, and fuel tanks supplying your jet. A theme song would've been nice and given the game a personality. Can't have everything I guess.

With so much to concentrate on, the extreme challenge this game provides could keep anyone glued to the TV. Memories of writing down high scores in small notepad books come right back to the hardcore gamer when this one is locked into the console. As a side note, the 2600 controller makes it tough to get the precise movement you'll need for this one. Pick a Genesis 3 or 6-button pad. Makes this one much more playable.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:30 PM