The Game: As the driver of a high-powered race car, you rocket around corners and down straightaways, trying to pick up every yellow flag in the maze-like course and avoiding deadly collisions with pursuing red cars. Watch out for rocks and oil spills, and use your smokescreen only when necessary to distance yourself from the red cars. (AtariAge.com, 2015)
Memories: Now that there’s a homebrew version of Rally-X, I find myself wondering why this didn’t happen back in the day? Especially if Atari and Namco had “an arrangement” (one which, famously, landed the home console rights to Pac-Man in Atari’s lap).
Rally-X had been “unofficially” ported to consoles and computers (see also: Radar Rat Race for the Commodore 64, because radar and rodentia fit together like freshwater fish and particle accelerators), but even a simple port like this one would have been a slam dunk for the 2600 (and probably would have raised Rally-X‘s stock in the arcade as well).
Ed Fries’ faithful home version not only keeps the arcade game’s nuances intact, but gives it a “look” accurate to other arcade-to-VCS ports circa 1981. It’s a real glimpse into what might have been in an alternate universe in which Atari told Namco, “Sure, we’ll take that one too.”