Planned game over

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River Raid ends the moment your score exceeds 999,999.

Planned game over is a video game term and mechanic which describes a game purposely designed to end, even though the player might otherwise be able to continue playing. Purposely ending a player's run was a response to inadvertent kill screens which sometimes cropped up in early video games. A planned game over can be distinguished from a planned ending because the game doesn't really switch into an ending sequence — no cut scene or credits roll — the game just abruptly stops when a set of criteria are met, and you typically see the game over message.

This mechanic is considerably less common than games which let you play forever, and it's not nearly as interesting as a kill screen, so few gaming databases record it.


Here are some of the more notable examples. For the full list see the category.

Title Platform Description
Duck Hunt Nintendo Entertainment System After you finish stage 99, you go to stage 0, and, if you finish that you get a game over.
Megamania Atari 2600 The game ends if you reach a score of 999,999.
River Raid Atari 2600 The game ends if you reach a score of 999,999, and score becomes all exclamation points.