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Autoduel is a hybrid game based on Steve Jackson Games board game Car Wars. It incorporates elements of role-playing, driving and action-based combat. The game is set in a futuristic version of USA, where gangs and vigilantes rule the wilderness, and people's only protection are armored cars with mounted weaponry. The player is cast in the role of an average person who must at first earn enough money to buy an own car, and then perform courier missions throughout the country.

The game's progression is fairly open-ended: the player is free to visit different cities, explore highways, participate in car Arena battles to earn money, take on gangsters in the wilderness, salvage car parts, etc. A few courier missions must be completed in order to advance the story. The player can construct and customize vehicles using guns, mine-layers, smokescreens, oil slicks, rockets and other accessories, choosing between various body and chassis types for the car. The entire game is viewed from a top-down perspective.

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Credits (Commodore 64 version)

17 People

Based on the "Car Wars" Board Game by
Programming Assistance
Conceptual and Editorial Assistance
Cover by
Illustrations by
Documentation by



Average score: 63% (based on 6 ratings)


Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 52 ratings with 5 reviews)

Autoduel is a fun action RPG for the road rage in all of us.

The Good
Autoduel was one of the first role-playing/action hybrids for the Apple II. Building your vehicles was very engaging and challenging. Do you add weapons to your courier car, or do you leave it stripped so you can haul that extra cargo? Do you use the laser which had a huge number of shots but drains your battery or the Recoiless Rifle which is very heavy and has limited ammo? Bigger engine or more armor? And so on....

It is fortunate that the game allowed you to have several vehicles, because it let you explore all the ways of playing. Autoduel had a storyline and a cursory plot, but the real point of its non-linear play was to complete deliveries and to see just how many vehicles you could destroy, salvage, or escape (depending on your playing style).

Driving from town to town was fun even if there wasn't much traffic (that is, enemies). You always had to be careful to not get lost or you would have to abandon your vehicle and walk to town, defenseless against any onslaught. Some of the roads, particularly the route you had to take to finish the final delivery quest, were particularly long and convoluted.

Finally, despite all of the weapons and armor you could put on your vehicle, driving your vehicle and firing/switching weapons was straightforward. It was easy to learn the basics, but once a few enemies were chasing you and you had to rely strictly on your tires and driving skill, well, that separated the Speedster from the roadkill.

The Bad
The only thing not to like about Autoduel was the lack of a real plot. Sure there was a quest once you had built up enough prestige, but it would have been fun to have more types of missions such as bounties on enemy drivers.

The Bottom Line
Autoduel is a fast-paced action/RPG that puts you in the driver's seat of a fast killing machine. You design and build your own vehicles to earn money and prestige fighting in the arena, delivering valuable packages, or just salvaging what's left of the bandits you left in a melted, smoking heap on the open road.

Apple II · by Droog (460) · 2003

Create a character and survive on the highways and arenas in the future United States where your style of play and your choices are all you need.

The Good
This game allowed the creation and development of character that you could truly make your own. From your skills to the body types, weapons, armor, tires and power plants in the car; you got to make whatever choices you saw fit. This flexibility made the game. The side jobs and different ways of making money meant there was always more than one option or path to follow. Another great feature was the need to buy ammunition and make repairs... this meant mistakes truly did cost you. The types of weapons and speed capability of a vehicle also made a big difference with what tactics you would use. Damaged tires and poor driving skill made cars extremely difficult to handle.

The Bad
The graphics and plot both needed some further attention.

The Bottom Line
Autoduel is a good adaptation of Car Wars (Steve Jackson Games) on a computer. Considering the time it was made and the scope of the concept of Car Wars gameworld; Autoduel was a truly great game that suffered from the limits of the time. This game allowed a great degree of freedom and therefore the chance to play as one would see fit. Create your character, save money to buy your car and go explore the Northeastern US in a version of the future where you can make it as a courier, duelist or vigilante!

DOS · by James Zimmer (2) · 2001

One of the first non-linear futuristic RPGs that was actually REALLY fun

The Good
You could do anything you want in this game. In order to earn more money you had to keep updating your cars or building your cars from scratch. There were arenas that you could test your car and your abilities in, as well as courier jobs that you could fulfill. Sometimes, while listening to the rumors in the truck stop you could find out that the FBI wanted you to do some jobs for them or the clone hospital in Boston wanted a heart delivered. Or you could sell your courier jobs to the fixer at the bar for the price of your prestige. The choice was yours. Top it off with long roads between cities filled with enemies that you could blow up and salvage and you have the makings of one of the most fun games ever made.

The Bad
Animation was bad, but understandable when considering the age of the game. Only the biggest cities contained the most services, but some were ridiculous, as Providence, Rhode Island contained only a truck stop and nothing else.

The Bottom Line
A primitive Privateer anchored to wheels and land.

DOS · by SebastianLi (52) · 2000

[ View all 5 player reviews ]



Like most of the Origin games of the 80's, the original run of Autoduel came with a little trinket; in this particular case, a mini-'automechanic' toolkit, which actually fully functional and useful tiny screwdriver, wrench, and hammer.

Richard Garriott

This is one of Lord British's few forays outside of the Ultima series, who did this one with Chuck Bueche aka Chuckles the Clown.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by SebastianLi.

Commodore 64 added by Quapil. Apple II added by KnockStump. Amiga added by Jarkko Lehtola. Atari ST added by Kabushi. Atari 8-bit added by ZZip. Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Ummagumma, Patrick Bregger, ZeTomes.

Game added April 12th, 2000. Last modified August 28th, 2023.