In the action-packed game River Patrol on the Atari 2600, you step into the shoes of a boat captain with a daring mission. Your task is to navigate your river patrol boat through multiple levels, rescuing hapless individuals who have fallen into the river swarming with crocodiles. Rescues earn you points but beware, your journey is fraught with dangers such as incoming boulders, floating logs, and other perilous obstacles that can sink your vessel.
The primary goal is to reach the dam located at the end of each level before time runs out, and your boat succumbs to the water’s depths. Collision with a crocodile or venturing over a whirlpool leads to your boat sinking rapidly. Meanwhile, a crash with another boat, log, boulder, or TNT results in the immediate sinking of your boat. The game concludes when all lives are exhausted unless more credits are inserted into the arcade machine, allowing you to continue the game.