Rabbit Transit

Rabbit TransitThe Game: Oh, it’s just a harmless little bunny, isn’t it? But this bunny needs some help to navigate a garden crawling with other critters to reach his ride to find his family (in this case, on the back of a See the videoturtle). The turtle takes the bunny to a series of platforms. The bunny needs to change the color of every platform – and avoid projectiles being dropped from above – to rescue his fellow bunnies. Once the platform level has been beaten and more bunnies have been led home, the garden level begins again with increased difficulty. (Starpath, 1983)

Memories: No one can deny that Starpath‘s games for the Supercharger add-on were often on a whole different level than the average third-party game (i.e. much of what wasn’t released by the clearly above-average Activision and Imagic). But it’s also hard to deny that Starpath, for some reason, chose to show those capabilities off with game concepts that were derivative.

Rabbit TransitRabbit Transit, a nice, colorful, fun game, is a good specimen of that phenomenon: the first level riffs on the basic gameplay of Frogger (with the diagonal movement of Q*Bert), and and the second level, obviously, riffs on the jump-on-the-blocks-and-change-the-colors gameplay of Q*Bert. Sure, Rabbit Transit recasts the game completely, but it’s all still awfully familiar.

Rabbit Transit also has a very strange distinction: at some point in 1983, an in-house programmer at Atari did a considerable amount of work on a prototype that basically crammed Starpath’s Rabbit Transit into a standard, Supercharger-less 2600 cartridge, with only minimal changes to the code. Whether or not this experiement was authorized / licensed by Starpath remains unknown, but the idea of 2 quarterssqueezing Supercharger capabilities into a standard cartridge (which, admittedly, may or may not have necessarily contained standard circuitry to accomodate “partitioned” Supercharger-style games) may be a signpost that, only a year after the peripheral was introduced, Atari was hard at work on making it obsolete.

About Earl Green

I'm the webmaster and creator of theLogBook.com and its video game museum "sub-site", Phosphor Dot Fossils.
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