Night Driver

Night DriverBuy this gameThe Game: You’re racing by the glow of your headlights alone – avoid the markers along the side of the road and other passing obstacles…if you can see them in time. (Atari, 1980)

Memories: Just as the simplicity of Night Driver in the arcades was necessitated by the hardware limitations of its time, it was a perfect VCS title for the same reason. Though the arcade game boasts a slightly finer visual grain, it’s not by a large margin. The most distinguishable difference is the trade-off of the arcade game’s overlay artwork of the car for a blocky foreground car graphic at home; on the other hand, the home game trumps the coin-op by having color graphics.

Night DriverIt’s also a killer game for the paddle controllers, which suit it better to begin with than joystick control ever would have. Split-second control is a necessity, and the game can be quite unforgiving. Night Driver is also a rarity in that one of the three programmers who 3 quarterscreated the coin-op version, Rob Fulop, wound up programming the home version as well. Fulop also translated Dave Theurer’s Missile Command for the Atari VCS, the reward for which sent him looking for a new job as quickly as possible.