AGH Atari 2600 Review:

by Atari

Pole Position
Namco's Pole Position, the most popular arcade driving game in the early 1980's, comes racing onto to the VCS, with some good results. It's another in a line of great arcade ports from Atari.

Pole Position is primarily a race for points. Once the green light flashes, you have to fight your way through the track and reach a certain point total before time is up, or else the race is over. It's not easy, however, as other cars on the road will try their best to stop you. If you make contact with another car or with a roadside object, you'll crash and lose precious time.

The arcade version was known for its brilliant graphics, but the visuals in the 2600 port is surprisingly faithful to the original. Almost everything looks like the arcade game, except for the opposing cars which look bland. Even the game's audio is within striking distance of its big brother. The controls, however, can be confusing. First off, the fire button is used for braking, not for accelerating as is often the case with 2600 racing games. In fact, once the race begins, the car accelerates automatically, you just need the button to slow down around curves. The joystick control is better; left and right steers you, pressing up shifts you into high gear, and pressing down shifts you into low gear. It may seem awkward at first, but it'll become second nature after just a few minutes of play.

In the 2600 racing game sweepstakes, Activision's fabulous Enduro takes the checkered flag. However, for fans of the arcade game, Pole Position comes in a close second. A top-notch conversion that is guaranteed to satisfy.

Title Pole Position
Publisher Atari
System Atari 2600 (VCS)
Graphics 8
Sound 7
Gameplay 7
Overall 8
Reviewer Adam King

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