The Game: It’s your big chance to qualify for an unspecified big race at a track near Mt. Fuji in Japan. First, you try to get through the qualifying heat, racking up laps around the track as fast you can and accumulating as few wrecks as possible. If you pass muster, then you get to try it again with other cars on the track! (Atari, 1983)
Memories: A reasonably faithful version of the then-megahit arcade game, this home port was actually very good considering the 2600’s graphics limitations. But it shared the arcade game’s repetitious nature, which made it a short-lived game which quickly depleted the novelty associated with its name.
Steering was actually surprisingly good with the standard 2600 joystick, and pushing the stick up or down to change gears turned out to be a nicely instinctive way of doing things. But as often happened with Atari’s arcade ports, Activision upped the stakes and made a better version of the game – and all without that expensive licensing business.