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720°

720°

720°

720 Degrees, or 720°, is a 1986 arcade game by Atari Games. 720°, a skateboarding game, is notable in that along with BMX Simulator, it is one of the first extreme sports video games, and has a unique timed structure that requires the player score points in order to keep the game going. The game's name comes from the "ultimate" trick, turning a full 720° in the air after jumping off a ramp. 720° has the player controlling a skateboarder ripping around a middle-class neighborhood. By doing jumps and tricks, the player can eventually acquire enough points to compete at a skate park.

720° Plot

From official materials:

"It's just you, your trusty skateboard, and a hundred bucks as you skate, jump, slide, spin and move through four levels of difficulty, picking up loose cash, earning money through events, and finally, earning a ticket to one of the big skate parks! If you're lucky, you'll get to buy some rad equipment to make you the coolest skateboarder alive."

720° Gameplay

The game consists of four levels each consisting of four events:

Ramp: the player climbs around a half-pipe structure, trying to gain more and more height and performing tricks in the air to earn the most possible points. This ends when the timer runs out.

Downhill: a long course consisting of slopes and banks must be navigated to reach a finish line. The quicker the player reaches the finish, the more points are earned.

Slalom: an obstacle course in which the player is required to pass between pairs of yellow flags scattered across the course. Each gate passed grants a little extra time, and scoring depends on time remaining upon crossing the finish line.

Jump: the player jumps from a series of ramps, attempting to hit a bull’s-eye target off the screen. There are cryptic marks on the ramp before the jump that provide clues as to the location of the target. This ends when the timer runs out or the player crosses the finish line, whichever comes first.

Scattered through the levels are several 'map' icons placed on the ground which when activated give you a map with the roads, parks, shops, and your location marked on it. Also scattered about the level are hazards and obstacles, jumping over hazards earns points.

The player earns points and money for high scores in each event, and doing well at the events earns you the cash needed to buy equipment that improves player performance, and a chance at a bronze, silver, or gold medal. Completing all four events in all four classes completes the game.

The cabinet for this game is unique. The speakers for the game are mounted atop the cabinet in a structure resembling a boom box, in line with the game's skate-rat theme. The display is larger than that for a typical arcade game and very high resolution (similar to that used for Paperboy). The main control is also unique. This joystick moves in a circular fashion, instead of in compass directions like standard joysticks. The game also contains two buttons, one for "kicking" (which refers not to actual "kicking", but refers to pushing the skate board with a foot for speed) and the other for jumping. The game supported up to two players, alternating play.


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