River Raid

Critic Score User Score
ZX Spectrum
Atari 8-bit
Atari 2600
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River Raid is a vertically scrolling action game. You fly a jet up a river in an attempt to destroy bridges which are vital to the enemy. The river is heavily guarded, however, with balloons, ships, choppers, and enemy aircraft trying to stop you. Along the way you will need to fly over fuel stations to refuel your jet and keep flying.

The plane is armed with a cannon with unlimited ammo. It can be used to destroy the enemy vehicles and bridges, but a careless player can accidentally destroy a fuel station. Colliding with the riverbanks or with the enemy aircraft destroys your plane and makes you lose a life.


River Raid MSX Beginning on an easy level
River Raid MSX Title screen
River Raid PC Booter Sometimes the river becomes narrow
River Raid MSX Blowing stuff up...

Alternate Titles

  • "Carol Shaw's River Raid" -- Alternate title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Simple, yet a masterpiece. Atari 8-bit jose vargas (4)
An incredible game - one of the best ever Atari 2600 MagFram (43)
One of the best games on the Atari 2600 Atari 2600 James Eldridge (64)

Critic Reviews

The Video Game Critic ColecoVision Jun 12, 2004 A 100
Defunct Games Atari 2600 Jan 07, 2014 A+ 100
Le Geek Atari 2600 May, 2008 4.5 out of 5 90
Allt om hemdatorer Atari 2600 Dec, 1983 9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars 90
The Video Game Critic Atari 5200 Oct 05, 2000 B+ 83
TeleMatch Atari 2600 May, 1983 2 out of 6 80
Atari HQ Atari 2600 2002 8 out of 10 80
The Atari Times Atari 5200 Feb 08, 2006 65 out of 100 65
Your Spectrum ZX Spectrum Nov, 1984 8 out of 15 53
Digital Press - Classic Video Games ColecoVision Jan 29, 2007 5 out of 10 50


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River Raid holds a sad record. With this game, the German BPjS (Federal Examination Office for Youth-Endangering Publications) expanded into the area of computer games.

Put on the German index for being, among other things, a "para-military training game for kids" on December 19, 1984.

For about 18 years, this game was not just an adult only game in Germany, but it was also illegal to advertise for it and therefore (as advertise also means the pure presence on a store's shelf) it could only bought per request.

But the story had a good end: de-indexed by the BPjS in January 2003 after a verification request by Activision. Otherwise it would be on the index until December 2009 (25 year statute of limitations law appendix; originally, it wouldn't be de-indexed automatically).
Contributed to by PCGamer77 (3011), RKL (5607), Terok Nor (20778) and Servo (55759)