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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 Intro sequence
Hi-Octane SEGA Saturn Destroying your opponents is a major part of the game.
Hi-Octane DOS Ready to go!
Hi-Octane SEGA Saturn One of the cars looks like the flying DeLorean from "Back to the Future II"

Promo Images

Hi-Octane Screenshot
Hi-Octane Screenshot
Hi-Octane Magazine Advertisement
Hi-Octane Screenshot

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

User Reviews

Spectacular! DOS Tomer Gabel (4646)
An alright game that plays WAY too fast!!! DOS James1 (247)

Critic Reviews

Mean Machines SEGA Saturn Jan, 1996 90 out of 100 90
PC Games (Germany) DOS Jul, 1995 89 out of 100 89
Gameplay (Benelux) DOS Aug, 1995 84 out of 100 84
Play Time DOS Jul, 1995 84 out of 100 84
PC Gamer DOS Sep, 1995 82 out of 100 82
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) DOS Oct, 1995 8.2 out of 10 82
Coming Soon Magazine SEGA Saturn Mar 14, 1996 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Video Games SEGA Saturn Nov, 1995 68 out of 100 68
GamePro (US) PlayStation Mar, 1996 2 out of 5 40
Electric Playground PlayStation Oct 09, 1996 3 out of 10 30


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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.


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

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Contributed to by Lance Boyle (1437), Richard Wilson (27), Adam Baratz (1484) and quizzley7 (21715)