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River Raid

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Atari 8-bit
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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 ZX Spectrum Exploding a balloon.
River Raid ZX Spectrum I don't really know what to say more... Enemies everywhere, bad guys... really nasty. I mean, bad!
River Raid ColecoVision Watch out for enemy boats and helicopters
River Raid ZX Spectrum Fighting your way up the river...

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

Tilt Atari 2600 Jul, 1983 6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars 100
Game Freaks 365 Atari 2600 Jul 03, 2010 9.2 out of 10 92
Allt om hemdatorer Atari 2600 Dec, 1983 9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars9 Stars 90
All Game Guide Atari 2600 1998 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
The Video Game Critic Atari 5200 Oct 05, 2000 B+ 83
Atari HQ Atari 2600 2002 8 out of 10 80
VideoGame Atari 2600 Mar, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
TeleMatch Atari 2600 May, 1983 2 out of 6 80
All Game Guide ColecoVision 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Your Spectrum ZX Spectrum Nov, 1984 8 out of 15 53


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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).

Related Web Sites

  • AtariAge (Atari 2600) (for Atari 2600: downloadable ROM; scans; manuals; additional material)
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  • AtariMania (Atari 2600) (for Atari 2600: database; downloadable releases; artwork; additional material)
  • AtariMania (Atari 5200) (for Atari 5200: database; downloadable releases; artwork; additional material)
  • AtariMania (Atari 8-bit) (for Atari 8-bit: database; downloadable releases; artwork; additional material)
  • Game Base 64 (for C64: Downloadable links, Database, Music, Emulation, Frontends, Reviews and Articles)
  • Internet Archive (for ZX Spectrum: downloadable release; online emulation of game; additional material)
  • Lemon 64 (for C64: games, reviews and music)
  • Wikipedia (combined platform entry)
  • World of Spectrum (for ZX Spectrum: release information; additional material; player reviews; magazine references; magazine adverts)
Contributed to by PCGamer77 (3008), RKL (5606), Terok Nor (21023) and Servo (55746)