INTELLIVISION CARTRIDGE [Mattel Electronics #1113]
Release #9 October 3,1980
Also released by Sears
Produced by APh Technology Consultants for Mattel Electronics
Program: Larry Zwick
Package Illustration: Jerrol Richardson
The following description was written by Keith Robinson during the creation of the IntelliviisonLives website. Looking at the instruction manuals, it is obvious that Keith had the story backwards, as the earliest manuals have what Keith refers to as the intuitive steering, and the later manuals have the realistic steering.
There were two different versions of Auto Racing released due to a running change made during manufacturing. In the original version, steering is realistic -- it is oriented to the car. For example, if your car is moving downward on-screen and you want to turn right (that is, toward the left of the screen), you press right on the hand controller disc. Mattel received complaints about how difficult this was (even the instruction book warns that it takes some getting used to), so a running change was ordered to make steering intuitive -- to orient it to the screen. In the above example, to turn toward the left of the screen, you press left on the hand controller disc, even though the car is actually making a right.
Both versions had their advocates -- intuitive steering being easier to play; realistic steering being a better simulation of driving. One programmer likened it to the difference between driving an automatic and driving a stick. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell which version is which from the package; you either have to check the instruction book, or just plug in the cartridge and play.