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Enduro is a great game for the 2600, but just out of curiosity, does anyone else find the triangle-road shape of the course annoying? I get the justification for it, but in this game, it just doesn't work. I haven't played too many racing games, but they all couldn't have had tracks represented like that.

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That is what I am referring to, the narrowing. I suppose I understand that, but are all racing games like that? I guess I'll have to check out others, because off the top of my head I can't recall (plus, I really don't do racing games). I'm thinking maybe reality could have been altered in the game just to make it look more attractive. There's just something about that sharp angle at the top that throws me off.


Actually, I just did a check now of Pole Position on the 2600. Same thing. But, the arcade version does not have it to such a sharp extent. So I wonder if the arcade version can do it but the 2600 cannot. Rad Racer for the NES, which I also just checked, is also better. So I wonder if it is a technological limitation or a programmer's choice.

Edited by AAA177
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Well, you have an initial road width in the front which has to go to zero (in a straight line) at the horizon (else it will look like you are constantly going over the top of a hill). So the angle of that straight line is determined by the amount of vertical space you have. And that vertical space is determined by the perspective you choose. For Enduro, Activision choose for a rather low perspective.


Atari did the same for Pole Position, and IMO Rad Racer looks about the same. Actually in Rad Racer the player is even lower "seated".


I can see some reasons for doing that:

  • A lower perspective puts you closer to the virtual driver seat, you are "in" the game and not an observer looking from above.
  • Also, especially for the Atari 2600, you can easier define good looking sprites. You are simply looking at the back of the incoming cars then (2D). With an more overhead view, you would have to show the cars in 3D view.
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That is what I am referring to, the narrowing. I suppose I understand that, but are all racing games like that?


Every 1st or 3rd person perspective racing game to this day pretty much does that, since it reflects reality. Take this dash camera shot that I quickly pulled off Google Images. The road immediately in front appears wider to your eyes than the same width of highway does in the distance ahead of the camera.




Now look at this screenshot from Gran Turismo 6.




That's just perspective at work. You'd have to play an overhead racing for it to not make any sense to do this, unless the road is physically narrower up ahead.



Edited by Atariboy
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What everyone else said: it's an attempt at 3D graphics to create a first-person perspective (or "psuedo" first person, since the camera is usually behind your car). No doubt you've noticed how in real life the road seems to shrink to a point on the horizon when there aren't any hills or other obstacles blocking your view (like this).


The Atari 2600 can't do this perspective quite as convincingly as other consoles, mostly because there aren't enough resources to shrink the shoulder or curb graphics as they get closer to the perceived horizon. Pole Position's road shoulders look they're getting fatter the further off they are. Enduro makes up for this by using one-pixel-wide shoulders, but even a single pixel is pretty thick on the 2600.

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Agreed on the importance of vanishing point perspective. If you don't like it, play top-down racers, there are plenty of them out there. Personally, I think the first-person, 3D look is cool.


It's a grand old tradition. Here's the arcade version of Night Driver.



Speaking of Enduro, I'm tickled that this blatant clone/ripoff is still in the store. It looks and plays (and sounds and scores!) just like the original.

Android Version

iOS Version

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You should tell that Activision. :)


If they mention any of their heritage on their front page, I will ....


let's see here ....












I'm thinking ... nah.


Oh hey, on the Games page, below the third "click for more," here's Activision Anthology for mobile via their partners Code Mystics. Released Aug 20, 2012, last updated ... April 2013 for Android, October 2012 for iOS



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