By Williams

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  • 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.)

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  • 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!

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