Fire Truck is a black-and-white 1978 arcade game developed and published by Atari, Inc. According to GamesRadar, it was the earliest video game with cooperative gameplay where two players have to work together. Fire Truck is built on the multi-directional scrolling technology created for Atari's Super Bug released the previous year.
|Designer(s)||Howard Delman (programming)|
John Ray (hardware engineer)
A single-player version was released as Smokey Joe. It is internally identical to Fire Truck. Both games were programmed by Howard Delman. Fire Truck was distributed in Japan by Namco.
Players must cooperate to drive the truck through traffic as far as possible without crashing, avoiding parked cars and oil slicks. While the game can be played with one player, it was primarily designed for two. The front player steers the tractor of the truck sitting down, controlling the gas and brakes, while the rear player stands and steers the tiller for the rear wheels, controlling the swing of the trailer. If playing with only one player, the computer controls either the front or the back accordingly.
Flashing arrows appear on the course to indicate correct turns at intersections. The amount of time left in a play session is indicated by the amount of fuel left. Players can select from an easy or hard course. Along with their scores, players are given a driver rating out of "Sorry", "So-So", "Good" or "Ace".
The cabinet also provides the players with bells and horns, although these have no use in the actual game.
Fire Truck was built on the technology of Super Bug, the first arcade game to feature a scrolling playfield. John Ray adapted the hardware, and Howard Delman enhanced the software. To allow for solo play, Delman needed to create a computer intelligence that could drive either the front or the back of the fire truck , which he said "took a lot of tweaking to get something that would feel okay without feeling over controlling."
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