Where’s the fire? Well, there was no fire, just a fire truck that had to be steered around roads full of obstacles in the 1978 Atari game. The player(s) had to steer a fire truck through the winding streets, accumulating points and–hopefully–earning extended play with a high enough score.
The biggest draw of Fire Truck was the unique two-player cabinet that allowed one person to sit in the front seat and control the cab, while another stood behind him and controlled the trailer. If you were by your lonesome, you could operate either wheel and let the computer drive the other part.
The game was played on a black and white screen, with an overhead view of the truck, street and parked cars. To earn points, the truck had to travel as far as possible within the time limit, without causing a crash. That was easier said than done, since the winding streets and parked cars presented a real challenge for the drivers. Oversteering could be a particular problem and almost certainly led to a crunchy end. To ease the stressful nature of the task, the front player had a horn at his disposal and the back player could ring a bell. Neither sound effect contributed to the game but a horn! And a bell! You rang those puppies to your heart’s content!
Player rankings consisted of “Sorry,” “So-So,” “Good” and “Ace.” There were several levels of difficulty for a chance to rack up the points and drive up your standing in the rankings. Sound effects included the aforementioned bell and horn but the game also interjected skidding, brake squealing and crashing sounds throughout play. The whole package made Fire Truck a lot of fun especially if you played with a friend, preferably one who’d had the same lifelong dream of being a fireman.
Did you fight a few blazes hile playing Atari’s Fire Truck back in the day? We’d love to hear your memories of this classic arcade game in our comments section.