Death Race


Developers Activision (original)
neotokeo2001 (hack)
Publishers Activision (original)
Freeware (hack)
System Atari 2600
Release Dates 1982 (original)
2003 (hack)
Modes Single player
Two players alternating
Media Cartridge (original)
ROM file (hack)
Related title Death Race Movie Edition


In River Raid, players controlled a series of jets flying over a scrolling "River of No Return", destroying multiple types of targets of various sizes and attack patterns.

Death Race is a hack of River Raid, changing the graphics, sounds, and even several of the gameplay elements.


Players control a car that is constantly stationed at the bottom of the screen and can only move left and right as an unending landscape scrolls downwards. Players must avoid or destroy various enemies and avoid colliding with any tombstones, enemy denizens or critters or they will lose a car; lose all cars and the game will end.

Once a player's car approaches an enemy target, they will inevitably start to move, and missiles fly overhead without pause.

Players’ cars are also constantly draining fuel, although they can be replenished by docking with onscreen Fuel Tanks. Running out of gas will also cost the player a car.

Skulls are also encountered during a game, which, upon being destroyed, the player will start off at the last Skull they destroyed prior to losing a car.

There is also a variation for two players.

Hack changesEdit

There were many changes to the landscape that was made, resulting in a much more open environment for the most part than with River Raid. All of the borders are gone, except for Tombstones, which are indestructible. All targets move eventually, including Skulls (which replace the original bridges), and once one of those is destroyed, the screen background will change color. Once all targets begin moving they will also wrap around to the other side of the screen (i. e. a car traveling left will then reappear on the right after it has reached the left screen edge).

Most enemies were changed into horror theme entities, the sounds were also changed and the E/F (for "empty" and "full") on the fuel level was changed to "GAS".

Controls, startupEdit

  • Select game–Game Select switch
  • Start game–Game Reset switch
  • Fire straight missiles–Difficulty switch (A position)
  • Steer missiles–Difficulty switch (B position)


  • Move car–left/right on joystick
  • Speed up–up on joystick
  • Slow down–down on joystick
  • Fire–button
  • Resume game with reserve car–joystick or button


  • Fuel Tank–80 points
  • Enemy car–30 points
  • Missile–100 points
  • Skull–500 points
  • Critter–60 points
  • Extra car awarded–every 10,000 points


  • The original game came with two label variations, being the original release and one with a blue label. This version comes as a ROM file to be played on Atari emulators or flashcarts.
  • The hack was modeled after the 1970s movie Death Race 2000. A Death Race Movie Edition version was also released, changing a few of the graphics once more to closer resemble the movie, as one of the enemies is now a "Pedestrian/Rebel", as the movie involved a death race where people could be run over.
  • On the original River Raid, when the player lost a jet, the screen would pause until the player made a movement or pressed the button on their controller. With Death Race, various entities will start moving even when the game is paused.


Download ROM

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