Editor's note: I wasn't alive when River Raid came out, and I didn't get to play it until recently, but I like this game. Maybe this article will be a trip down memory lane for you. Maybe it will be a window into an era of gaming you missed. Either way, give it a read, then go try River Raid. It's awesome. -mossy_11
The year was 1982. Atari were cleaning up the home video game business, Dexy's Midnight Runners were trying to convince Eileen for a date, and E.T. was racking up the long distance charges trying to phone home. What does all this have to do with video games? Well, it's the year the first (and greatest) independent game company, Activision, released River Raid.
And there I was, a little tyke sitting in my parents bedroom, with the TV flickering and color shifting, flying my fighter down the river to GLORY! This was one of the very few games I had as a child; one of the six in my Colecovision collection. River Raid was my first home experience with vertically scrolling games. It remarkably offered a different challenge almost every time I played. The audio (which I now hear in stereo) was very impressive, and still sounds good today.