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Description

Hard Drivin' is a 3D arcade hit from Atari Games. You are in control of a high-performance sports car. Your objective is to race around the course as fast as possible and hit as many checkpoints as possible. If you hit a checkpoint you gain extra time to go farther. You will see traffic on the road both in your direction and coming down the opposite direction, so be careful when you pass...

The course has two sections: speed track, and stunt track. Speed track is longer, but you can usually achieve higher speeds. Stunt track requires you to perform several stunts such as jumping bridges, driving through a loop, and so on.

Crashing the car has no serious consequences and indeed shows a replay of your crash from a cinematic angle. Admire your crash head-on into the cement truck, or clipping the minivan, or flying off the bridge in the wrong angle... You lose several seconds as your car is "reset" and you get up to speed again.

The home conversions retain most of the then-advanced 3D graphics but lack the force-feedback that was in the arcade version.

Screenshots

Hard Drivin' DOS a miscalculated stunt - CGA
Hard Drivin' Arcade Staright on or turn right?
Hard Drivin' ZX Spectrum The start of the game. The car goes no-where unless the key in the ignition is turned. Cue much reaching for the manual and frustrated hitting of keys
Hard Drivin' Lynx Hitting buildings bounces you back and cracks the windscreen

Promo Images

Hard Drivin' Magazine Advertisement Page 29

Alternate Titles

  • "Hard Drivin' 1" -- Informal name
  • "ハードドライビン" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A major disappointment. Amstrad CPC Neville (3276)

Critic Reviews

The One Atari ST Dec, 1989 88 out of 100 88
Raze Genesis Mar, 1991 86 out of 100 86
Zero Amiga Feb, 1990 86 out of 100 86
Génération 4 Genesis Feb, 1991 86 out of 100 86
Zero Atari ST Jan, 1990 82 out of 100 82
The Games Machine (UK) DOS Apr, 1990 81 out of 100 81
Amstrad Action Amstrad CPC Feb, 1990 80 out of 100 80
Raze Atari ST Aug, 1991 79 out of 100 79
Power Play Amiga Feb, 1990 63 out of 100 63
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Lynx Nov, 1991 4 out of 12 33

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Trivia

Commodore 64 version

The C64 version, generally considered the weakest of Domark's home computer versions, was only released on budget and compilations. It was developed from scratch in two weeks after the original attempted conversion (coded by Mike Hutchinson) had major glitches when other cars were added

Cancelled NES port

A NES port was planned, programmed by Mark Morris, but was eventually not released.

Ghosts

In 2007, Midway holds the rights to this game, a lucrative deal as it includes a series of patents to the concept of recorded "ghosts" in racing games. These are recordings of a certain racing session, shown in a new game allowing players to race against and compare their best times. New games that want to use this feature have to license it from Midway: #5,577,913, a "System and Method for Driver Training With Multiple Driver Competition".

Sega Genesis cover artwork

If you look carefully, the rear license plate of the car reads "10-GEN". You might think that the "GEN" references the Genesis platform, but the full vanity plate text phonetically reproduces the name of Tengen, Atari Games' home console division and developers of this port.

Awards

  • Commodore Format
    • November 1994 (Issue 50) – #4 The Bottom 10
  • EMAP
    • Golden Joystick Rewards 1990: Winner Best Coin-Op conversion.

Contributed to by B.L. Stryker (22371), Guy Chapman (2001), FatherJack (62737), NGC 5194 (17583), tbuteler (3147), Xoleras (66646), Martin Smith (69044) and Servo (57413)