Atari's Forgotten Arcade Classics

Space Race
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Atari1/10

As Atari turns 45 this month, a look at 10 of its little-known coin-op games from the early 1970s

As Atari turns 45 this month, a look at 10 of its little-known coin-op games from the early 1970s

Space Race

Space Race was Atari's second video game, released about eight months after Pong in July of 1973. This collaboration between Bushnell, Allan Alcorn, and Ted Dabney used discrete logic technology similar to that used in Bushnell and Dabney's earlier Computer Space arcade game (Nutting Associates, 1971) and Pong. In the game, each player controls the speed of a ship (forward or back on a joystick) in an attempt to dodge space rocks flying horizontally across the screen. Atari licensed the game to Midway the same year under the name Asteroid to fulfill a contract. Very few remember Space Race because Atari's Pong – and Pong clones – dominated the arcade video game market throughout 1973.