Grand Prix

Grand Prix
Company: Activision
Model #:
David Crane
Year: 1982


While his first racing game Dragster holds the record for being the shortest game on the 2600 (games average 6 seconds), David Crane decided to go the more traditional route with Gran Prix.  The result was one of the finest sideways racing games for the 2600.  That's right, Sideways!


Unlike most racing games, Grand Prix features a sideways scrolling screen.  So instead of seeing only the backs of oncoming cars you get to see their whole length.  This makes it much more difficult to zip in and out of lanes and get ahead of the pack, so players had to adopt a new strategy to win.  As it turns out the car pattern is not random, and there is actually a set path the player can take to get through a course in record time.  However not even the programmers at Activison knew how to get a 100% perfect time.


Apparently Programmer David Crane had calculated the shortest possible time it took to cross the finish line.  However the path he took always resulted in smashing to the last car on the track costing precious seconds.  One night at the CES show David decided he would see if he could sneak past that car get a perfect time.  After some practice David was able to get past the car and was well on his way to getting a perfect score when he smashed right into the back of an invisible car!  Turns out that this invisible car was actually a car that had crossed the finish line before the player and was well off screen so no one ever saw it.  After a few more tricky moves David was able to sneak by this invisible car and get a record time that was almost two seconds faster than the previous "perfect" score.  This became known as David Crane's signature move.


While it may not seem like anything special by today's standards, Gran Prix was one of the more popular 2600 games, and was a mainstay in most people's collections.  This may explain why you're almost guaranteed to see at least one at every flea market you go to.


Version Cart Text Description
?????? None Final version


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