Review: Enduro (Atari 2600)

Posted: February 10, 2011 in Retro, Reviews
Tags: , , ,

Enduro for Atari 2600

Hittin’ the Road

Buckle your seatbelt, put Red Barchetta in the tape deck and push in the clutch. Once the wheels are turning in Enduro, you don’t get a break.

Released by Activision in 1983, Enduro puts you behind the wheels of a sports car (being an Atari 2600 game, you’re free to imagine it to be whichever car you’d like – I tend to imagine it as a Lotus Esprit or Buick Grand National) as you take on an endurance course. You’ll drive in daytime, nighttime, sunny countrysides and snowy mountains. Obviously, a good amount of this is up to the player’s imagination, as the graphics lack any real detail.

Enduro Atari 2600 Review

The goal of the game is essentially to pass a set number of cars in a day. If you can make it through the day and get past all the other cars, then you continue on to race the next day. You want to maintain a steady speed, but you also have to be careful not to hit other cars, as you’ll lose valuable speed (and daylight!) and have to build your speed up.

Your driving is accompanied by the soothing/maddening sound of your car’s engine as provided by the Atari 2600’s primitive soundchip. Whether it brings you to a zen state or drives you up the wall is a matter of personal taste.

The game is one of the best racers on the 2600 (much better than the feeble Dragster), and plays like a simplified Pole Position, right down to the pseudo-3D that would become the standard for racers over the proceeding years. It’s a solid title, and if you have a 2600 (or find it in one of Activision’s compilations) give it a shot.

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  1. Steerpike says:

    Great work as usual, Chad. I did the writeup of Enduro for GameTap years ago and thought I hadn’t played it – until the sounds brought all the memories rushing back. If you don’t think that a 2600 racer can be grueling, or pulse-pounding, you’ve never played Enduro.

    • Chad M. says:

      It’s a really cool little game. It might lack the modern bells and whistles, but it just distills the spirit of driving for the sake of driving, and that’s what I love about it. I don’t think I really appreciated Enduro until I’d done a lot of my own driving.

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