Controversial video games have always been a heated discussion. When most people think of such games, they instantly think about the many games in the 1990s such as Mortal Kombat and Night Trap, which ultimately brought us what we now know as the Entertainment Software Rating Board. But controversy in video games have been around since the 1970s and 1980s as well, with such games as the pornographic games from Mystique for the Atari 2600, and in arcades such as Chiller. One game to spark the conversation was “Death Race“, which is now infamous as being one of the first games to offer such gameplay. Now, a new homebrew port of the title is in the works for the Magnavox Odyssey 2.


Death Race was first released by Exidy in 1976. It was one of the first video games in which you perform simple forms of random violence, by driving your car and running over as many pedestrians as you could within an allotted amount of time. The cabinet, which was inspired by the 1975 motion picture “Death Race 2000”, had a very limited distribution with only about 500 being made. In the game, the player controls an on-screen car with a physical steering wheel controller and acceleration pedal. As the player hits the pedestrian (known as a “gremlin” for quality control), they scream or squeal and are then replaced on-screen by tombstones. Since these tombstones never leave the screen, the challenge increases as the screen gets cluttered, making the player avoid the tombstones as well.


The new port is the creation of AtariAge member “LS_Dracon”, who has brought the arcade game to the Magnavox Odyssey 2. While the original game was programmed using monochrome graphics (which was still somewhat a standard at the time of release), this new version brings you the game in full color. Here, player 1 controls the blue car, while the second player controls the red one. The player presses left or right to rotate the car either clockwise or counterclockwise, while pressing the action button with move the car by simulating the gas pedal. Meanwhile, holding down will reverse the gearshift. After the game is over, press up to start a fresh round. Every time you collide with a “gremlin”, a new cross will appear at the location of the death. Just like the original, you must dodge the crosses and the playfields boundaries.


This game has been tested with the O2Emu Odyssey 2 emulator, and has been successful. In addition, the game was also tested successfully on actual Magnavox hardware. There is no word on if this is a final product, and no word on if the game will ever be produced for the masses, however the ROM image has been made available free of charge for those wanting to check it out. (And for those that have not had a chance yet to check out our “Headlines From The Past” feature about the games controversy, be sure to check that out by clicking here.)

Source & Download Link: AtariAge