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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.


Hard Drivin' Arcade Staright on or turn right?
Hard Drivin' Atari ST Get ready to race
Hard Drivin' Lynx Choose between manual or automatic gears
Hard Drivin' Amiga Main menu

Promo Images

Hard Drivin' Magazine Advertisement Page 29
Hard Drivin' Magazine Advertisement
Hard Drivin' Magazine Advertisement

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 (3442)

Critic Reviews

GamePro (US) Genesis Jan, 1991 5 out of 5 100
Tilt Atari ST Jan, 1990 18 out of 20 90
Raze Genesis Mar, 1991 86 out of 100 86
The One for Amiga Games Amiga Jun, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
The One for ST Games Atari ST Jun, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
All Game Guide Arcade 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
GamePro (US) Lynx Nov, 1991 3 out of 5 60
Retro Archives Atari ST Apr 14, 2020 11.5 out of 20 58
Power Play Lynx Nov, 1991 51 out of 100 51
Retro Archives Lynx Apr 14, 2020 6 out of 20 30


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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.


In 2007, Midway held the rights to this game, a lucrative deal as it included 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 wanted to use this feature had to license it from Midway: Patent #5,577,913, a "System and Method for Driver Training With Multiple Driver Competition". Since 2011, the patent was held by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. On November 26th 2013, the patent expired, allowing anyone to use recorded "ghosts" in racing games.

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.


  • 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 (23452), Guy Chapman (1996), FatherJack (62720), Rebound Boy (19581), tbuteler (3146), Xoleras (66455), Martin Smith (79254) and Servo (57355)
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