Tag Archives: racing games

Nigel Mansell’s World Championship

When I was a kid, Nigel Mansell occupied a curious position in popular culture. He was, without a doubt, respected for his solid performance in motorsports — but he was also regarded as an enormously boring man.

Thankfully his official video game adaptation by Gremlin certainly wasn’t boring. Building on the tech used for the Top Racer and Lotus Turbo Challenge series, Nigel Mansell’s World Championship provides plenty of fun arcade-style thrills in a Super Monaco GP sort of way.

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

The Great American Cross-Country Road Race

Whew, that’s a title and a half, eh? Good job it’s memorable, because it’s attached to probably one of the best racers on the Atari 8-bit.

The Great American Cross-Country Road Race is, in some ways, a spiritual successor to Enduro on the Atari 2600, but it’s also a considerably more complex game. It was one of the first racers to incorporate some distinctly sim-like elements — and a game that made me cry on more than one occasion when I was a kid because I didn’t understand how cars worked.

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

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!

Karting Grand Prix

Sometimes, it’s good to play a genuinely awful game just to remind yourself how good we have it most of the time. And sometimes you end up very pleasantly surprised.

Sometimes, though, a game is just irredeemably terrible and no amount of positive intention will save it. Sadly, such is the case with Karting Grand Prix for Atari ST by Anco — though I will add a disclaimer at this point. This video was based off the version of the game that Automation archived among their enormous collection of floppy disk menus, and is seemingly an incomplete or earlier version of the game; the final retail release does run slightly faster, but that doesn’t do much to rescue this absolute tyre fire.

Enjoy my suffering in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for happier times!

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.