A motocycle road race vaguely similar to Pole Position, Williams'
Star Rider presents you with a true first-person perspective of
a highway running through some very strange and beautiful interstellar
environments (with names like "Cubitania" and "Stalactica"). Seated
on the game's cabinet extension and using a set of three
handlebar-mounted countrols, you pilot your space bike down the road as
fast as you can, trying to avoid obstacles and beat out four other
(computer-controlled) competitors. You're also given a laser-fed
rearview mirror to keep track of the guys behind you, a forcefield
guardrail to keep you from high-siding your chopper and wiping out,
and a very goofy computer-generated "Roboffical" who pops up at the
end of every heat to tell you how you did. There's some strange
black/white grid at the bottom of the screen, but I'm guessing that
the LD player used this for extra info (MACH III also has static in
the right channel that was probably similarly used.)
Although the LD rendered sequences are just a running video like
all other laserdisc coin-ops, Star Rider attempted to innovate by
changing the speed of the LD itself. You can choose from two different
gears using the "lo/hi" gear shift. Low played the laserdisc at half
speed. While it doesn't add up to is a driving experience as real as
bopping down to the 7-11 on your Kawasaki, its stunning computer
generated visuals compare favorably to contemporary interactive games.
Star Rider definitely deserves a spot on the menu in one of the
Williams/Midway/Atari classic CDs. Let's hope Midway is listening!