Cult Video Game Essentials

Cult Video Game Essentials: Radar Rat Race

Before the days of virtual reality gaming, GTA and online co-ops if a video game player really wanted to live on the edge they would guide a mouse through a large maze – not just any maze, a maze where the camera follows your mouse and shows only a small portion of the maze at any given time. To make matters worse you would be being chased by at least three rats! This was the world of Radar Rat Race!

Dropping in 1981 from HAL Laboratory, Radar Rat Race was a licensed clone of Namco’s Rally-X arcade game. It was one of the original launch cartridge titles for the Vic-20, and was originally released in Japan as Rally-X for the Commodore Japan K.K. and, in 1982, was converted to the Commodore MAX Machine and Commodore 64.

So what is Radar Rat Race all bout? Well the goal is to eat all of the pieces of cheese, shown for the entire maze on a radar screen, without getting caught by a rat or bumping into a stationary cat. By pressing the joystick button, the mouse can disperse a limited amount of magical dust known as  “star screen” which confuses the rats for about five seconds. Once the round is complete, the game starts again, with more rats and faster play.

The gameplay is accompanied by a frenetic, rhythmically altered version of a phrase from Three Blind Mice, which cycles endlessly for your enjoyment!

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