“The Great American Cross Country Road Race” – Activision – (1985) – Commodore 64
Activision were a hot company during the Atari and Commodore era. From “Pitfall” to “Ghostbusters”, their stuff stood out on the shelf, in part due to the soft shell ‘video style’ boxes that they used. They advertised heavily in the UK and they really spearheaded the advance of more American titles into the European market.
Activision formed when a bunch of programmers left Atari to form their own company seeking a better share of their profits from their work and greater creative freedom. This racing game was known amongst me and my friends as “G.A.C.C.R.R” as that’s what you saw as the game loaded. The title was too long to fit across one line on the C64.
It’s an improved version of earlier Atari game “Enduro” although out of all of the people I knew who owned a VCS system, none of them had this game. “Enduro” was the first game that featured both day and night, as well as Seasons in the game. Back then, all you had to do was turn the background white, and voila, you had a snow level.
The game was inspired by the real-life “Cannonball Run” and not only featured being chased by the cops, you also had to make sure you stopped for petrol. If you ran out, you had to push the car along the side of the road by tapping the fire button repeatedly. It wasn’t a popular game, but I quite enjoyed it. Also, anyone in the UK who had a Quickshot II joystick just used the ‘auto fire’ sliding switch to miraculously ‘push’ the car along the road at close to normal speed.
I think I liked it because it had speed, traffic, crashes and police cars in in. Funny that.
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See you next week for Part 8.