Tag Archives: driving games

Vroom

It may have a ridiculous name, but if you ask any ST enthusiast what the best racing games on the platform are — hell, if you ask them what the best games on the platform are — you will almost certainly hear Vroom mentioned.

Developed by Lankhor, this is a high-speed first-person racer that effortlessly blends smooth scaling sprites with polygonal scenery to produce one of the most thrilling games on Atari ST. It was so good, in fact, that publisher Domark went and sorted out a Formula 1 license and then released an updated version called F1 a little while later!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

OutRun Europa

As we’ve seen a fair few times on this series to date, it was quite fashionable for home computer developers to put together “unofficial” sequels to arcade classics.

Sega’s OutRun certainly wasn’t immune to this, and enjoyed several home-exclusive follow-ups over the years — including OutRun Europa by Probe. In this game, you’re on the run from the police — attempting to outrun them, you might say — and must speed your way across Europe in a variety of vehicles. And it’s not bad!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Jupiter’s Masterdrive

While Ubi Soft is regarded as one of the big corporate publishers these days, with much of their work consisting of annualised, creatively bankrupt titles, back in their early days they were beloved for their creative releases.

Jupiter’s Masterdrive for Atari ST is a great example. It takes the top-down racing game and adds a futuristic spin — and the result is a highly playable game that is a lot of fun to challenge, even today. Just watch out for those boats — they’re tricky to handle!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Pitstop

Early takes on the racing game genre often seem quite primitive by today’s standards — but some of them still had some ambitious ideas.

Epyx’s Pitstop for Atari 8-bit is a good example. While its game structure is fundamentally flawed if playing solo and its racing action is nothing special, it was the first game to not only incorporate pit stops as part of a race, but also to allow you to take control of your pit crew and actually perform the pit stop yourself.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Hard Drivin’ II: Drive Harder…

Back in the ’80s and ’90s, it wasn’t unusual to see developers for home computers take it upon themselves to make “sequels” to arcade games.

Hard Drivin’ II: Drive Harder… for Atari ST is a good example. It takes the basic format of Atari Games’ polygonal classic Hard Drivin’ and polishes it up with a better handling model, more tracks and a rather clunky track designer, allowing you to create your own challenges.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Buggy Boy

One of the first games I played on the Atari ST is also one of my all time favourites — it’s Elite’s excellent conversion of Tatsumi’s arcade racing game Buggy Boy, also known as Speed Buggy.

Buggy Boy is interesting in that it’s less about driving at high speed and more about negotiating ridiculous amounts of obstacles as efficiently as possible — and scoring points, of course. It still holds up very well today, and the ST version is one of the best ports.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Night Driver

Legend has it that some people will drive all night just to buy you some shoes. Some other people will drive through the night just to try and score as many points as possible.

In Night Driver for Atari 2600, you’re presented with the opportunity to do the latter in one of the earliest examples of the “vanishing point” racer being adapted to a home console. While obviously dated by modern standards — this originally came out in 1980, adapting an arcade game from 1976 — there are some interesting ideas in this one, and if you let it get its hooks in it can be surprisingly addictive!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Test Drive

As a kid, I was always fascinated by games that attempted to simulate experiences like you were “really there” — even if they were fairly mundane.

As such, I found myself drawn to the Test Drive series by Accolade, which promised a realistic (for the time) driving experience in a variety of luxury cars. I only played Test Drive II: The Duel back in the day, so I thought it’d be interesting to go back to where this long-running series began.

Check out my experiences in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Super Bug

While a bit different from what we know today as the “arcade racer”, Atari’s early attempts in this regard were all rather enjoyable.

Of the three included in the Atari Flashback Classics collection, Super Bug was the earliest and, consequently, the simplest. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time, however — if anything it makes it a great place to start!

Drive until you can’t drive any more: that’s all you need to do. But as we’ve seen countless times on this series already, sometimes it’s the simplest concepts that make for the most addictive games…

Sprint 2

Back before makers of arcade games figured out how to do a vaguely convincing 3D effect, racing games tended to be strictly top-down affairs.

Sprint 2, developed by Kee Games (actually Atari in disguise so as to get around contractual obligations) was one of several examples from this early era. Pitting either one player against a computer-controlled car or two friends against one another over twelve different tracks, it helped define the early days of a genre that has grown and changed significantly over the ages.

The oldies can still be goodies, though, and I still have a lot of time for Sprint 2, as simplistic as it is!