River Raid is a vertically scrolling shooter designed and programmed by Carol Shaw and published by Activision in 1982 for the Atari 2600 video game console.
Viewed from a top-down perspective, the player flies a fighter jet over the River of No Return in a raid behind enemy lines. The player's jet can only move left and right—it cannot maneuver up and down the screen—but it can accelerate and decelerate. The player's jet crashes if it collides with the riverbank or an enemy craft, or if the jet runs out of fuel. Assuming fuel can be replenished, and if the player evades damage, gameplay is essentially unlimited.
The player scores points for shooting enemy tankers (30 points), helicopters (60 points), fuel depots (80 points), jets (100 points), and bridges (500 points). The jet refuels when it flies over a fuel depot. A bridge marks the end of a game level. Non-Atari 2600 ports of the game add hot air balloons that are worth 60 points when shot as well as tanks along the sides of the river that shoot at the player's jet.
Destroying bridges also serve as the game's checkpoints. If the player crashes the plane they will start their next jet at the last destroyed bridge.
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