Retro 3D Gaming: Remembering Rad Racer
The gaming industry can do just as well as movies when it comes to today's 3D trend; here's a look back at a Nintendo 3D game of yesteryear.
June 02, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger

I spent too many hours of my youth in front of the TV playing the original Nintendo gaming console, so many of those games and graphics are etched in my mind. With all of the talk of 3D entertainment these days, especially the potential of 3D gaming, I couldn’t help but pay homage to a 3D game that was a big part of my NES experience more than 20 years ago—Rad Racer.

The company that produced the game, Square, had offered another such game, 3-D WorldRunner, but I have to admit I never played that one. Rad Racer came out in the fall of 1987, and in true gimmicky style it came bundled with thin plastic 3D glasses.

You could also send in a mail-in rebate for a pair of yellow 3D glasses (see image below, courtesy of

I played those eight levels of driving over and over again, but I don’t really believe the Ferrari road racing was more fun in 3D. If it were a better experience, perhaps more of Nintendo’s games would have been released in the format.


Then again, 8-bit probably was not the best graphical way to introduce 3D into our formidable entertainment minds. We were more interested in finding the cheat codes than slipping on the groovy glasses and looking at each course in a muddied mix of red and blue instead of more colorful non-3D imagery.

So 23 years later, video games are about a thousand times better quality-wise. The big question is, will 3D lend more of an experience to game play, or is it still little more than a gimmick?

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for and Electronic House magazine.

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