Mr. Dark
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River Raid instruction manual cover

Players control a series of jets flying over a scrolling River of No Return, destroying multiple types of targets of various sizes and attack patterns. The jet is constantly stationed at the bottom of the screen and can only move left and right as an unending river scrolls downwards. Players must avoid or destroy various enemy craft and bridges and avoid colliding with any land mass, enemy vehicle or bridge or they will lose a jet; lose all jets and the game will end.

Players’ jets are also constantly draining fuel, although they can be replenished by docking with onscreen fuel depots. Running out of fuel will also cost the player a reserve jet.

Bridges are also encountered during a game, which, upon being destroyed, the player will start off at the last bridge they destroyed prior to losing a jet.

As the game goes on, the difficulty level is raised by having less space to maneuver in river banks and with less fuel depots appearing onscreen.

There is also a variation for two players, along with being able to choose from firing straight or steerable missiles (via toggling the Difficulty Switches).

The game was released in 1982.

Fun factsEdit

  • River Raid debuted on the Atari 2600, selling well over a million units, and was later ported to many other consoles and computers, retaining pretty much the exact same gameplay as the Atari 2600 original, although with some additional targets and features. It was also one of the earlier Atari 2600 games to be programmed by a woman (Carol Shaw) and was followed by River Raid II in 1988, which was released only for the Atari 2600.
  • There were many firsts for this version, as the Atari 2600 did not have a dedicated pause feature, which, whenever a player lost a jet, the game would pause and not start again unless the player moved the controller or pressed the button when their next jet reserve was launched. Scrolling shooters that never repeated screens were also totally unheard of back then, along with enemies that never fired, checkpoints (the last bridge that was destroyed), and fuel depots that had to be docked with, rather than shot in order to obtain more fuel.
  • Due to Hack-O-Matic and other like programs, modern day hacks have been made of River Raid. Some are just graphical hacks, such as River Raid Black (making the game’s background dark), while others changed various gameplay mechanics, such as with River Raid Hack (infinite lives version), which gives the player unlimited lives, and Death Race, removing barriers so the player is free from running into islands and losing lives, plus the hack was given a horror theme.