Indy 500

aka: 11 Indy 500, Race
Moby ID: 11710
See Also

Description official descriptions

Indy 500 is a racing game played from a top-down point of view. In the one-player game, your goal is to complete as many laps as you can in 60 seconds. In the two-player game, the first player to complete 25 laps wins! Included are several different race tracks, two difficulty levels, and additional game variations called ice race, tag, and crash 'n score. In ice race, the track is icy causing your car to slide often and making it difficult to steer. In tag, one player is "it" and needs to tag the other player. For each second you race without being tagged, a point is earned. Lastly, in crash 'n score the goal is to crash into targets which appear on the race track. The first player to crash into the target earns a point, and then a new target will appear elsewhere on the track.

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Credits (Atari 2600 version)

Cover Artwork



Average score: 81% (based on 5 ratings)


Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 24 ratings with 2 reviews)

Frustrating Top-down Racer

The Good
Not a lot.

The Bad
Maybe it's just me, but I've never gotten a hang of the paddle controller. In most games that's a bit of a problem, in this game it will have you gritting your teeth. The graphics, while somewhat representative, are not impressive even for the Atari 2600. Sound is barely there.

The Bottom Line
Indy 500 is a top view racing game. The player attempts to control a car as it navigates a short almost circular path around the screen, accumulating a point for each lap. The game provides several tracks, the more difficult ones requiring a more circuitous path.

This game is one, for me, that depicts how much one can come to hate a game based simply on poorly designed controls. There is no real reason why this game couldn't have been one of Atari's more enjoyable games. At its base, this game is simply maneuvering a car around a slightly curvy track. However, it is nearly impossible to navigate even a single turn without straying off the track and into the slowing barrier. Once in the slowing barrier it takes seemingly ages to escape, merely to reenter the barrier a few short seconds later. Fundamentally, I think the lack of any speed control, combined with Atari's over-responsive paddle is at fault. In any event, I can't keep this game plugged in for more than a few seconds without turning purple.

Atari 2600 · by eratik (105) · 2008

After you've mastered the joystick, it can be fun.

The Good
It took me a while to truly appreciate the different games offered. My favorite feature was the Crash n' Score. Chasing a little square that appears at random on the tracks gave me a few moments.

The Bad
The controls take some time to master. I've spent most of the first hour off the track. It sounds bad, but my partners didn't seem to do better anyway. The turns are very sensitive and make it very difficult to do a single lap without crashing into something. That is how we discovered that the game wraps where it should not. I probably had more fun laughing at how bad drivers we were than at playing the game itself. It seems a little strange to see your car crashing on one side of the screen and reappear on the other! So let me tell you that the ice feature provided quite a challenge!

The sound is charming, that is, if you enjoy the sound of a chainsaw. I personally had to turn it off after ten minutes.

The Bottom Line
The game is hard to master and once you've got it, it doesn't take long before you get bored.

Atari 2600 · by RobinHud (68) · 2005



The driving controller was much like a paddle controller but you could turn the knob without stopping. Indy 500 was the only game Atari created that required this controller.

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Indianapolis 500: The Simulation
Released 1989 on DOS, 1990 on Amiga
ABC Sports Indy Racing
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Danny Sullivan's Indy Heat
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GP 500
Released 1999 on Windows
Tele-Games: Speedway IV
Released 1976 on Dedicated console
Indy 500 XE
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Piczle Lines DX: 500 More Puzzles
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Grand Prix 500 2
Released 1991 on DOS, Amiga, Atari ST
F1 Race
Released 1984 on NES

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Additional contributors: LepricahnsGold, Patrick Bregger.

Game added January 21st, 2004. Last modified September 22nd, 2023.