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Grand Prix Review

Developer: Activision Publisher: Activision
Release Date: N/A Also On: None

The Atari 2600 has games within a wide variety of genres. Everything from card games like Blackjack and Poker to space shooters like Space Invaders and Defender, and everything in between, can be found on the system. But some genres are more represented than others. Racing is one of those genres that is really well represented, a genre that, while highlighted by such games as Pole Position and Sprintmaster, has many other racing games which, while not as high-profile, are also worth the time for the Atari 2600 fan. Is Activision’s Grand Prix one of these games? I shall now attempt to answer that question.

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The concept of Grand Prix is simple. There are four courses, which you choose between before beginning your race using the game select switch. Each course is a left to right affair. There are no curves or anything of that nature. The objective of the game is to dodge cars and move through the course as fast as you can. As you switch between the four courses in the game, as the number increases, the courses both become more difficult and they also become longer. The game keeps track of how long you take, so the main objective seems to be to consistently try to beat your time on each of the four courses.

Aesthetically, this game is pretty good for 1982. The cars actually look like cars. Granted, the road is a tan color, which I question the appropriateness of, but the cars look pretty good. In terms of sound, the sound of the cars moving sounds pretty appropriate, and the sound of the tires squealing when you try to move sideways too fast is also quite appropriate, so the sound in this game is actually quite good as well. So there’s nothing in the aesthetics that should turn you away from this game.

Is the game worth playing? That’s for you to decide. It controls well, that’s for sure, and it requires a lot of precision movements, which makes it challenging. The fact that it keeps track of your time makes it a game that could potentially see a lot of playtime as you try to improve your times on each of the courses, especially if you’re a big fan of racing games. But if you’re not a big fan of racing games on the Atari 2600, this game might not change your mind.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 7.6
Written by Martin Review Guide