- OutRun (1990 on Dedicated handheld)
Description official descriptions
OutRun is a racing game that allows the player to race across varied terrain in a readily available Ferrari, complete with a female passenger, over a series of short tracks.
Gameplay is viewed from just above and behind the car. The roads are full of sharp bends and hazards, contact with which can cause the car to roll and lose the player's time. On each section of track there is a fork in the road, allowing the player to choose which direction he or she wishes to go in. The player has to to complete five track sections in total, out of the fifteen in the game.
- SEGA AGES アウトラン - Japanese Nintendo Switch spelling
- アウトラン - Japanese spelling
Credits (Arcade version)
Average score: 75% (based on 58 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 191 ratings with 9 reviews)
The arcade game is well known: You race a Ferarri against time to reach one of five possible finishes at the end of a race. There are plenty of scenery changes and a choice of music to keep it entertaining. The PC conversion is faithful to the gameplay, with acceleration and cornering comparible to the performance of the original arcade game.
The main things that made the original 1986 arcade game so fun to play were the sights and sounds--a choice of music, colorful scenery, etc. The PC version does as best as it can, but unless you have a Tandy, the experience is lacking. Also, the arcade version had a variable-steering driving wheel, whereas the PC version uses hard-right, hard-left turning, even with a joystick.
The Bottom Line
If you liked the arcade version, you'll like the PC version.
DOS · by Trixter (8947) · 1999
Music would probably be the first thing. Passing Breeze is one of the most moving pieces of music I have ever heard in a console video game. The other songs are very good, but I don't think it gets much better than passing breeze. Also, I find the graphics technology to be incredible, considering it wasn't even Mode7-type "3D" (Mode7 is what the SNES used for lots of "3D" stuff, although it was just scaled 2D) Outrun used an confusingly incredible technology called Bi-Linear Parallax scrolling, which is certainly convincing enough, I mean, it really looks 3D. The control is very nice, too, as far as pre-16-bit system racing games go. Also, I love the way it has so many different ways you can go, there's probably at least 20 different routes altogether...Also, playing this game just gives me one of the most incredible feelings of nostalgia that I've ever experienced playing a video game, which probably is influencing my praise of this game more than it would for others...
See, I played this as a kid, and I could never get very far for some reason, I just kept running out of time. I finally found some on-line documentation, and I figured out that...YOU USE UP AND DOWN TO SHIFT GEARS! I can be so stupid sometimes. (although, maybe it wasn't just me who couldn't figure that out) Anyway, that was probably the only thing I didn't like about it, this being the fact it didn't have any in-game documentation. Also, AI of "enemy" cars seemed to lack a lot.
The Bottom Line
An incredible technical and musical masterpiece for the SMS. (Sega Master System) Maybe I'm giving it more credit than it deserves, but I really love this game.
SEGA Master System · by J. David Taylor (27) · 2003
To slightly correct the other ST review, although the OutRun arcade machine uses the same processor as the Amiga and ST, it also features some additional custom hardware, most notably a routine to automatically scale sprites without requiring processor intervention, which allowed the game to run significantly faster, and made these home versions a little harder to get right.
This version's a lot harder than the Amiga one, which I completed on my first go.
There's still no excuse for this lousy effort though. It moves excruciatingly slowly, making the car much harder to steer, and robbing proceedings of the kind of frantic excitement the arcade game provided. The car often disappears from the screen, and the way driver and passenger sometimes appearing to swap seats is a bizarre and ludicrous bug.
The tracks aren't close enough to the real ones (which is something that should be possible - the Spectrum version is much closer to the arcade game, albeit in monochrome and even less fast), and are hampered by the pot-plants in the middle. The menu system using pull-down menus and mouse-style movement is badly thought-out and awkward. The attempted hip-hop touches of the 'remixed' title music are excruciating - think Vanilla Ice's attempt at borrowing from Under Pressure.
The Bottom Line
The ST, C64 and Spectrum versions of OutRun were all rushed out to meet Christmas 1987, and like all too many of the conversions US Gold released at the time, they weren't up to scratch. Compared to other arcade conversions of the time like Buggy Boy and Super Hang On, this is technically inept, unexciting and infuriating. If you want to play it now, MAME is the best way, no doubt about it.
Atari ST · by Martin Smith (81434) · 2006
|Outrun on Amstrad GX4000||Robert Francis||Jul 17th, 2011|
The classic red racer you use in the game is quite obviously a convertible Ferrari Testarossa (right down to the "Cavallino Rampante" logo featured in the back of the car), however SEGA had not licensed the likeness of Ferrari products and got into a series of legal issues with Ferrari. The eventually settled but it wouldn't be until OutRun 2 that the car would become an "official" Ferrari.
There was a patent case over the DOS port by Unlimited Software, the porting division of Distinctive Software. Accolade, for whom Distinctive had written The Duel: Test Drive II sought a preliminary injunction against Distinctive Software. It did not deal with the general look of the game, but rather the underlying source code.
Distinctive used some of the underlying "computer code" from The Duel for the OutRun DOS port, which Accolade challenged as an infringement of their copyright. Distinctive argued that these were standard libraries and routines, re-used in different games only for the sake of not having to reprogram them. Also, they claimed Accolade never contemplated the transfer of copyright in the library codes and, even if it did, the codes were not subject to copyright protection in the first place.
Ultimately, Accolade lost the case because the licensing agreement only referred to the concept and design of the game, but not the underlying codes.
The full case can be read through a link in the related links section.
A special edition of Outrun on cassette for Commodore 64 was bundled with a cassette containing the music from the original arcade game. The intention being to be listened to while playing the game!
Game Art Beyond
In 2018, Out Run was selected as one of the biggest classics on the Commodore 64 by the creators of the C64 graphics collection Game Art Beyond. Out Run was honoured with a high resolution title picture (based on the Amiga title screen artwork) in a special C64 graphics format called NUFLI, along with a new C64 SID interpretation of the famous Splash Wave theme. After listening to it completely, a short version of Passing Breeze can also be heard - this tune was missing in the original C64 conversion.
The PC version has undocumented support for the Tandy TL/RL/SL series; there are a few digitized sound samples that can be heard if the joystick is not chosen to play the game (since the TL/RL/SL couldn't play digitized sound and access the joystick at the same time, due to a rediculous design flaw).
Two versions of the game exist for MSX computers. The first one is for MSX1 computers, was developed by US Gold and is nearly identical to the other 8 bit versions of the game. It was likely released in both tape and disk formats. The second one was developed by Pony Canyon for MSX2 computers and had improved graphics and speed. It was likely released in Japan and in cartridge format only, although pirated disk versions do exist.
Second game Sega made in the 80's that used "Super Scaler" technology.
Differences between The Japanese and Over Seas versions
There are some differences between The Japanese and Over Seas versions of the game in terms of arrangement of courses. The famous Rock Tunnel stage is an entirely different in the Over Seas version as well as it appears much sooner in the game. Only Mega Drive edition of "Outrun" includes both options to play different versions.
Commodore 64 version
In C64 version "Passing Breeze" tune is replaced with "Radio Off" option.
- Retro Gamer
- October 2004 (Issue #9) – #44 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Related Sites +
- MobyGames ID: 16
- Wikipedia (en)
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Trixter.
Nintendo 3DS added by Michael Cassidy. SEGA Master System added by Tibes80. Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. J2ME added by chirinea. Arcade added by FatherJack. Amstrad CPC added by Zovni. Amiga added by Martin Smith. ZX Spectrum added by Terok Nor. Game Gear added by Macintrash. Commodore 64, Atari ST added by Servo. SEGA Saturn added by Игги Друге. MSX added by koffiepad. TurboGrafx-16 added by Katakis | カタキス. Genesis added by Syed GJ.
Game added March 1st, 1999. Last modified September 7th, 2023.