Atari 2600 Game
Produced by: Activision
Model Number: AG001
Atari Rarity Guide:2 Common+
Year of Release: 1980

This Atari 2600 game is a very simple Drag Racing game designed by the legendary David Crane. In Dragster, two cars compete at the same time, (one or two players), to race down the track as fast as you can. But that would be too easy, so they made sure you had to work the 4 speed manual transmission also. This game requires very precise timing to get really good at. Like most Atari games, this one is the most fun when played with a friend.

From the instruction manual:

Tips from David Crane, Designer of Dragster by ACTIVISION

David Crane, a senior member of Activision's design team, started computer game playing as team leader of a college project. David is also the designer of Freeway, Fishing Derby, and Laser Blast by ACTIVISION. Dave specializes in games that other designers consider impossible.

"The key to World Class times in Dragster is training your reflexes to clutch and shift quickly, accelerating at maximum power in each gear without blowing your engine. Call it racing shifting, if you like, but it's the only way you'll get your speed down under seven seconds.

"There are a couple of tricks that are not so obvious. For example, put the clutch in during the last numbers of the countdown, hold it in, rev up (careful) and pop the clutch by letting go of the Joystick the instant the screen reads 0.

"Then you should try to rev your engine to keep the tach in the red as you go through all four gears (without blowing your engine). You've got to keep your revs up for speed.

"If you drop out of the red in any gear (and particularly in third or fourth), try tapping the Joystick quickly to the left a few times ("popping the clutch") to get added acceleration.

"Do a wheelie? Sure, go ahead. When your front wheels come up off the road, you're getting maximum acceleration. But watch out! Push the gas too hard and you'll blow!

"I had great fun doing Dragster. Hope you enjoy it. Write and let me know how you do. And if you break 6.00 seconds, take a photo of the screen and send it to us. So far the World Record is 5.61 seconds. If you break that, it will make news!"

David Crane

This game is valued at around $2 USD. Games with boxes and manuals are worth more.

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