1976 Greats #04 – NIGHT DRIVER

Year:  1976
Platform:  Arcade
Developer:  Atari
Genre:  Driving – 1st-person

07-NightDriver2Sure it was simple, but it was new, different, and fast!  It was one of the first, pseudo first-person driving games… an experience which was to soon become a mainstay in driving games.

Because computer power was much more limited in 1976,  the game took place at night – a time of day when the only thing that needed rendering were the white, winding reflectors, your score, and ghosts along the road.  Okay, no ghosts. The car itself was actually just an overlay, stuck on the glass above the game playfield.

But it all worked, and worked well… becoming a big hit for Atari. There was an upright and sit-down model of this game, trying to give you that realistic feeling of speeding over 200 miles an hour… at night… on a one-way road…   just like real-life.  Actually, who cares about mirroring real-life – that’d be boring!  Who wants to play a game called “Speed Limit +5” or “Safe Driver”…  Awwww yeah!

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