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A futuristic racing game with hover cars, in the same line as Wipeout, using a modified version of the Magic Carpet 2 engine.

Gameplay takes a straightforward approach, with the directional keys controlling the steering and throttle, and three keys to fire the minigun, missiles or charge the booster. While the minigun has unlimited ammo, both fuel, armour and missiles must be replenished by passing through some marked areas or picking up powerups in the track or by left destroyed opponents. While the vehicles float on the track they are still influenced by the ground material: they slow down on dirt and even more on water. Each track has a number of shortcuts or alternate routes that offer powerups, and some tracks feature gates and ramps that open or close randomly.

Includes 9 tracks and several game modes (for Saturn owners and PC players with the 1.2 patch installed) such as single race mode (with option to change the number of laps), a Championship mode, Split Screen, Clone Race (beating the ghost of the best race time), Death Match (Where instead of finishing first what matters is finish alive and with the most kills) and Hot Seat, where up to eight players can compete in the same race by taking turns, with the computer taking control of the players' vehicles waiting for their turn. There are six hover cars to choose from: the fast Flexiwing and Outrider, the balanced KD-1 Speeder and Vampyr and the slow but armed to the teeth Berserker and Jugga. In addition to the natural capacity of each, their Minigun, Missle and Booster capacities can be upgraded by picking up powerups during the race. There are Eight teams to choose from, which change the colour of the vehicle: Mad Medicine (white), Bullfrog (aqua green), Storm Riders (purple), Fire Phreaks (orange), DethFest (blue), Foo Fighters (yellow), Gorehounds (red) and Assassins Anonymous (black).


Hi-Octane DOS Ready to go!
Hi-Octane DOS Title screen
Hi-Octane DOS Tunnel's end
Hi-Octane DOS Water road

Promo Images

Hi-Octane Screenshot
Hi-Octane Screenshot
Hi-Octane Screenshot
Hi-Octane Magazine Advertisement Part 2

Alternate Titles

  • "狂野飙车" -- Chinese spelling (Simplified)
  • "Hi-Octane: The Track Fights Back" -- Full US Saturn title
  • "ハイオクタン" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Spectacular! Tomer Gabel (4634) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars
An alright game that plays WAY too fast!!! James1 (244) unrated

Critic Reviews

PC Games (Germany) Jul, 1995 89 out of 100 89
Pelit Jun, 1995 85 out of 100 85
Gameplay (Benelux) Aug, 1995 84 out of 100 84
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Oct, 1995 8.2 out of 10 82
World Village (Gamer's Zone) 1997 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Coming Soon Magazine Jul 25, 1995 79 out of 100 79
PC Joker Aug, 1995 77 out of 100 77
Level (Czech Republic) Aug 18, 1995 65 out of 100 65
Score Jul, 1995 6 out of 10 60
Power Unlimited Oct, 1995 5.5 out of 10 55


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Demo version

Hi-Octane was released as a playable demo on EA Shortplays CD.


There are a few variants regarding the game's development history:
  • According to legend, Hi-Octane began a game the Bullfrog team on their own free time, for fun. Then they decided to improve and market it.
  • According to a unnamed PC Gamer issue, the game was made in two weeks as a side project during the making of Dungeon Keeper. A variant of this story says that EA set Bullfrog under pressure to release Dungeon Keeper or Magic Carpet 2 - but they weren't able to. So they released Hi-Octane.


The engine used for Hi-Octane was a modified version of the Magic Carpet engine.


Bullfrog later released a patch for Hi-Octane which included additional features made for the Saturn version. These extra features included more tracks, split screen, deathmatch and more.

AWE32/64 compatibility

Hi-Octane is one of the few games fully utilizing the Soundblaster AWE 32/64 onboard memory. The soundbank BULLFROG.SBK fits the basic 512 kB onboard RAM and is preloaded during game boot.


  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1996 - Hardware Eater of the Year 1995
Information also contributed by emerging_lurker, Felix Knoke, James1 and Mickey Gabel

Related Web Sites

Richard Wilson (27) added Hi-Octane (DOS) on Aug 20, 2000
Other platforms contributed by Lance Boyle (1521), Charly2.0 (257987), Adam Baratz (1484) and quizzley7 (21707)
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