Pole Position

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Comments (10)
Monk - 16/02/2021
This is a really good version, and beats the C64-version easily in all possible ways. I find mysef playing this on my XL from time to time, but the C64-version almost never.

The Commodore computers did enjoy many other racing gems, like Super Cycle, LeMans and Death Race, though.

Not sure which version of 'Death Race' is the best (the arcade 'Turbo' is pretty good, but hard to adjust the controls so the car is actually controllable), but Atari version is certainly great.

Pole Position is a great arcade conversion and has a wonderful feel and good playbility to it. I also love the powerfully immersive sounds and the polish. The cars look a little blocky, but that's true of any non-arcade version of this game.

I recommend this game for sheer playability, oldskool fun and good atmosphere - this is what racing games are all about.
AbbotKinneyDude - 18/11/2020
Please note that, except for the copyright text, the 1987 re-release of POLE POSITION by ATARI Corp. is re-using the European packaging previously conceived by ATARI Inc.'s International Division in 1983. Unlike the 1983 European version which was exclusive to the European market, the 1987 re-release was distributed worldwide and cannot be qualifed as an European exclusive title (packaging wise).
Auntie Pastie - 17/06/2019
That "Thermonuclear Soft" release looks a little... odd. I wonder if it was officially licensed? *cough*

A quick search turns up little except a page elsewhere in Italian suggesting they pirated/reissued(!) "Pharaon’s [sic] Curse", "Flip & Flop", "Preppie II", "Spy’s Denise [sic!]", "Oil Swell [sic!!!]", "Bristless [sic!!!!!!]" and more...
eppy2000 - 09/12/2018
Scott, I know what you're referring to with garbled graphics of the flag since it's evident in all file versions (but not say, Pole Position Race Designer or similar hacks). But playing the original cartridge version, the aforementioned "curse" words appears *after* the checkered flag flashes as you're in reach of, but never cross the finish line.
Scott Stilphen - 11/11/2018
@eppy2000 There's no Easter egg at the finish. You're playing a corrupt version of the game where the checkered flag is glitched.
There is a real glitch in the game in that you never actually reach the finish line at the end of a race! You also will finish the race even if you crash right before the finish line!
eppy2000 - 15/10/2015
Received this cart for X-mas in 1983. Sure, the graphics are blockier than the arcade version, but it played very well and saved me many quarters. The game isn't that watered down, aside from not having voice synthesis or graphics on the signs, and a few minor bits that didn't detract from the enjoyment.

I guess there's a bit of an Easter egg in the game, but it's nothing major. If you fall short of the finish line when it's in sight on your final lap, you see "curse" words. It's just random characters like you in the comic strips when a character swears (e.g., @#*!$@^!).

Playing this on an emulator has a quirk, when you turn off the collision detection. Each completed lap gives you bonus time, but it's possible to get "too much" bonus time when added to your already padded time remaining. It screws up and you end up with even LESS time to finish the race, to the point where you can't finish.

The other thing about the game that brings back memories is that when I started playing it for the first time, both my mom and aunt berated me saying I would make a lousy driver because I couldn't maintain my lane. (They didn't realize it was a RACING game, not a DRIVING game). :)
Punkydudester - 18/12/2014
A really good classic. I remember the signs having Atari symbols on them in some of the versions.
Gwobby - 14/12/2010
Checkout the new (2010) PAL file version of Pole Position at http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/173793-poleposition-pal-fix/
Finally the europeans' have a challenging version of this classic game.
JSUK - 10/09/2007
Are the Atari and Datasoft/US Gold versions the same, apart from the superficial details given?
Cesar - 19/10/2006
Its a pleasure to introduce you my favorite atari game::::: POLE POSITION.....nostalgie driving in this car.


Pole Position atari screenshot
Pole Position atari screenshot
Pole Position atari screenshot
Pole Position atari screenshot
Pole Position atari screenshot
Pole Position atari screenshot
Pole Position atari screenshot
Pole Position atari screenshot


GenreRacing - Formula OneYear1985
LanguageMachine LanguagePublisherUS Gold
Players1, DemoCountryUnited Kingdom


Graphic Artist(s)


MediumTape Disk


Cover Artist(s)[unknown]Serial-
Dumpdownload atari Pole Position Download

Additional Comments

Other versions with the same title:

Atari UK
Thermonuclear Soft

The MCC / US Gold tapes are 100% identical. Note that they are not "Europeanized" at all and are actually the unreleased North American cassette version (the game was only sold on disk in the US and Canada).

Main differences with the two Atari versions:
- additional Datasoft loading screen
- no more Atari copyright on the main screen
- the Malibu Grand Prix is now called the Monaco Grand Prix
- the Atari Grand Prix has been renamed to Datasoft 500
- a nice Datasoft blimp appears in place of the Atari one

Missing original disk image!


Pole Position Atari disk scan Pole Position Atari disk scan


Pole Position Atari tape scan Pole Position Atari tape scan


Pole Position Atari ad

Book / Magazine Reviews

 Electronic Fun · March, 1984Rating: 3 / 4 

Some of us do not care to take our lives into our hands. Or feet, for that matter. This is why we would never consider race car driving seriously as a career. Let's face it, race car drivers court death every time they get into those flimsy little cars that are so low to the ground they're practically underneath it. Never mind that you get to wear helmets and sit beneath roll bars, etc. This is a... [more]

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