Company: Atari
Model #:
Steve DeFrisco (Axlon)
Year: 1990
One of the last games released for the 2600


During the revival years (1986-1990), there were great strides made in 2600 programming.  Games released during this time were bigger and more impressive than ever before.  A game as large and complex as Motorodeo would never have been thought possible on the 2600, but after 13 years the programmers had learned a thing or two...


As the name implies, Motorodeo is a monster truck racing game.  Motorodeo is one of the most impressive 2600 games as it not offers a whole list of options (accessible from a menu for once), but it features split-screen two-player simultaneous gameplay.  No other 2600 game had ever featured such an advanced game engine, but in a market that was dominated by newer and more powerful systems Atari had to push the 2600 to its limits in order to compete.  While it may have been a technological marvel, the actual gameplay leaves something to be desired.  Motorodeo simply moves too fast and requires too many complex moves to make it anything more than an exercise in frustration.  Motorodeo is a good example of how bigger isn't always better.



The goal of the game is simple; get to the finish line before your opponent while scoring as many points as possible.  You can score points by jumping on platforms, flipping and bouncing off platforms, crushing cars and walls, and grabbing bonus points scattered through out the level.  To help you reach the finish line faster, you are given Nitro Boosters, which propel you at lightning speed but also throw you out of control.  You must use the Nitro wisely, or you'll end up doing more harm than good. Along the way you'll also encounter water hazards, changing ramps, and walls that will impede your progress.  Careful jumping and good timing will help you breeze through these obstacles in record time.  If your having trouble learning the game, you can choose to practice certain track obstacles from the options menu.  You may also choose the type of tires your truck will use, each tire type (Trax or Blazer) has it's own advantages and disadvantages.


While it may not be the ultimate 2600 game, Motorodeo is still a technological breakthrough and showed what the 2600 could do if pushed to it's limits (and then some).  If you can get past the difficult gameplay you'll find a fast paced (albeit complex) racing game that will satisfy your 8-bit monster truck needs.


Version Cart Text Description
1/26/90 Motorodeo 1-26-90 Final Version (NTSC)
2/23/90 Motorodeo C300046-171A PAL 2600 2/23/90 Final Version (PAL)


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