Pole Position

  • Description
    • For us 'Old Folks', do you remember when and where you first played (or even seen) a Pole Position arcade machine? I was about 14 years old in 1982, at the skating rink in Levittown NY. I was so excited to try it, I did not realize I could not press the gas pedal with my roller skates on!

      Check out this flash based game 'F1 Pole Race', a really nice clone of the 30 year old classic 3D racing game Pole Position by Atari-Namco. This version does a nice job at capturing the overall look and feel of the classic game, all the while adding sharper and crisper graphics as well as signifigantly more attention to details. In this game, the player controls a Formula One race car, and has to complete a time trial lap within a certain amount of time (between 90 and 120 seconds) to qualify for an F1 race at the Fuji Racetrack. After qualifying, the player races against seven other CPU-controlled cars in a championship race (but if he or she does not qualify, the car will stay on the track until the timer runs out). The player must also avoid going off the road so that he or she will not crash into the billboards.

      Pole Position was the first racing video game to feature a track based on a real racing circuit. It was also the first game to feature a qualifying lap, requiring the player to complete a time trial before they can compete in Grand Prix races. Once the player has qualified, they must complete the race in the time allowed, avoiding collisions with CPU-controlled opponents and billboards along the sides of the track. The game's publisher Atari publicized the game for its "unbelievable driving realism" in providing a Formula 1 experience behind a racing wheel. The game's graphics featured full-colour landscapes with scaling sprites, including race cars and other signs, and a perspective view of the track, with its vanishing point swaying side to side as the player approaches corners, accurately simulating forward movement into the distance.[7]
  • Instructions
    • Race your Indy car around the Fuji course before the timer runs out. The first run is the qualifying lap and your starting position is determined by your completion time. Avoid road hazards and other cars as you drive, earning extra time for each completed lap.
  • Trivia and Fun Facts
    • A racing video game that popularized the third-person "rear-view racer format" player perspective

      This game was one of the choices presented to BallyMidway from Namco for sublicensing. BallyMidway chose IMappyI while Atari was left with IPole PositionI. IPole PositionI went on to become the biggest game of 1983 number four on httpwww.atarihistory.com30secrets.html .

      By 1983, it had become the highest-grossing arcade game that year in North America where it had sold over 21,000 machines for $61 million,or the equivalent to about $150 million in 2014. Pole position was the most successful racing game of the classic era, spawning ports, sequels, and a Saturday morning cartoon! The game established the conventions of the racing game genre and its success inspired numerous imitators. Pole Position is thus regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time and "arguably the most important racing game ever made."
  • Game History
    • Pole Position was created by Namco Inc. who also manufactured the game for the entire world except for the United States. Aside from the words which are in Japanese found on and in the Namco version, the graphics on the side of the cabinet are basically the same as well as the billboards that are seen throughout the game. Compared to the Atari release, the only differences are the Atari Racing decal on the simulated dashboard and the little blimp that can be seen at the beginning of a race that is marked Atari with the message Prepare To Qualify. In the Namco version, the blimp has no markings on it.