From Sega Retro
Turbo is a 1981 arcade game developed by Sega. It is a racing game where the player drives a formula 1 car down a long road while avoiding other cars and obstacles.
Turbo often considered the first racing game to introduce a third person perspective to the genre, something that is largely taken for granted now. A first person driving perspective had been achieved in Atari's 1976 arcade game Night Driver, however the weak technology of the era meant that Night Driver could only produce white squares on a black background (hence the word "Night"). Turbo was revolutionary in that it could display colourful, detailed backgrounds which gave the impression that the car was moving forwards. What is also notable is that Turbo offers changes of scenery, so the player can drive through cities, along the coast, through tunnels and through snow. Turbo would go on to inspire Namco's successful Pole Position arcade title, which in turn would help to popularise the genre. Pole Position is arguably a less advanced game however, as the scenery does not change.
The game is very similar to Sega's earlier arcade title, Monaco GP. Like Monaco GP its arcade cabinet displays the player's score and speed on separate LED displays, meaning that when the game is emulated, extra considerations must be taken. In MAME for example, there is an option to display these values on the left hand side of the main screen, but this would not have been present on real hardware.
Programmer Steve Hanawa was hospitalized after spending hours coding and debugging Turbo.
Turbo was ported to the ColecoVision and Intellivision in 1982, though many cuts were made in order for the game to run on the weaker hardware of these consoles. An Atari 2600 port was planned, but cancelled. However in recent years a prototype version of the Atari 2600 game has been unearthed. The ColecoVision version of the game was, for a while, bundled with the ColecoVision Expansion Module #2 - a steering wheel.
A Turbo board game was released by Milton Bradley in 1983.
VCO Object Version
Atari 2600 Version