Street Racer

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About Atari 2600 Street Racer

Street Racer, also known as Speedway II in its Sears release, was one of the two launch titles for the Atari 2600, along with Air-Sea Battle. Developed by Larry Kaplan, Street Racer offered a total of 27 game variations, providing players with a diverse gaming experience. The game was divided into six sub-games:

  1. Street racer
  2. Slalom
  3. Dodgem
  4. Jet shooter
  5. Number cruncher
  6. Scoop ball

Each sub-game followed a similar concept: players controlled a vehicle and had to either avoid or collect specific objects as they scrolled down the screen. The game supported up to four players simultaneously using paddle controllers, allowing for friendly competition.

Despite its status as an early Atari 2600 game, Street Racer’s blocky graphics left something to be desired. However, later racing games for the platform, such as Activision’s Barnstorming and Grand Prix (both released in 1982), were able to deliver improved graphics and gameplay experiences.

In a 2007 interview, Kaplan mentioned that he would have liked to make some changes to Street Racer. He explained that the game’s playfield didn’t flow smoothly, which led to flickering issues. If he could go back and change the game, Kaplan would have implemented a smooth-scrolling playfield to enhance gameplay.

Despite any shortcomings, Street Racer remains a significant part of Atari 2600’s history. Kaplan went on to become one of the founders of Activision, where he developed the top-selling game Kaboom! for the Atari 2600. The legacy of Street Racer lives on as an early example of racing games and a testament to the evolution of the genre.

Street Racer Atari 2600 game facts

GAME TITLE: Street Racer

PLATFORM: Atari 2600

GAME ORIGIN: Atari original





GAME GENRE: Driving / Racing