Car-racing game on a thermal printer

Joshua Noble's "Receipt Racer" is a car-racing game played using a thermal receipt printer; it reminds me of the games I used to write in BASIC on our old teletype terminal, which we loaded with enormous rolls of brownish paper towel of the sort you could get in elementary school bathrooms (once the paper was used up, we re-rolled it and ran the other side through the teletype, though filling a roll took a long time at 110 Baud!).
The game is played on a receipt printer, a common device you can see at every convenient store. It prints those papers you usually find crumbled up in your pockets, just to throw them away. It is a thermal printer using heat to darken the paper. This eliminates any slowdowns in printing lots of black. A roll can be ordered online and costs around 80 cents.

50 meters is the maximum distance you are theoretically able to race in one run, before running out of paper. So ecologically it's pretty much a disaster, just like any real car.

RECEIPT RACER (Thanks, Manny!)


  1. Back in 81 we used to get yelled at by the sysadmin if we dared to play Dungeon on the TTY43 teletyper terminals. We also got yelled at if we played too much in the day time as the disk swapping caused a big slowdown for the RSTS/E operating system.

  2. I really think they should make large-format versions of these printers. Save on ink.

  3. That reminds me of the “Pitt Real Time Star Trek” game that came from DECUS for the PDP-10 back in the 1970s. We played it on CRTs, but it was TTY compatible.

    I still have the transcript of a near-perfect game (I think I got hit by one photon torpedo). “YOU HAVE BEEN ELECTED FEDERATION PRESIDENT” sure beats “POSTERITY WILL CURSE YOUR NAME AS THEY SLAVE UNDER THE WHIP OF THE ROMULAN SLIME DEMONS.”

  4. Haven’t they been saying recently that thermal printing gives you cancer? And not in an ‘everything gives you cancer’ kind of way, but in an actual way.

  5. Hohoho..This game looks literally INDISTINGUISHABLE from the racing game I so proudly programmed on my old TI-86 calculator back in 8th grade…the first thing I ever programmed! I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever done.

    Then I saw some games written in TI assembly instead of TI Basic, and it made my piddling efforts look straight pathetic. Oh well!

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