Atari User

River Raid
By Activision
Atari 400/800/XL/XE

Published in Atari User #4

River Raid

It makes a change to see a game written by a woman - or should I say a female person?

Activision's River Raid was written by Carol Shaw, and the river of the title is divided into sections with a bridge at each end. Your job is to fly your plane up the river and destroy the bridges.

You're constantly moving forward, or rather the screen is constantly scrolling downward, and there are various obstacles to your progress - ships, helicopters and so forth.

River Raid

You're also using up fuel, but fortunately the river is littered with fuel dumps. You need only fly over them to refuel and you can blow them up and earn points if you don't need to top up.

As you get past more and more bridges the obstacles get more frequent, the nasties get more aggressive and the fuel dumps scarcer.

In fact, as you'll father from my description, there's nothing that you'd call innovative about River Raid. However, it does have several things to recommend it.

River Raid

Firstly the game is well implemented. Scrolling is smooth even at high speed, response to the joystick is good without being over-sensitive, and the colours are crisp and clear.

Secondly, there are options to start at bridges 1, 5, 20 or 50. This means that once you've got the hang of the game, you can leap straight in without having to go through the easy sections.

It's also a very fair game. If you destroy a bridge but get killed off before you fly past it you start your next life from that bridge rather than the previous one.

As an arcade fan I enjoyed River Raid. It's accessible enough at lower levels to allow you to get accustomed to it, but challenging enough at higher levels to hold your interest.

Pat Cookson

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