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' is a good PC conversion of Atari's arcade racing smash-hit. The arcade game was revolutionary in realism and feeling. Of course, the computer versions were never able to capture anything from it. But they tried. The game features one track, or actually it are two-in-one which you can choose by taking a bend or not at the start of a lap. The easier part is called "Speed Track", fairly straight-forward aiming for speed, and the more tricky one is called "Stunt Track" filled with a looping, a bridge jump and a bank bend. The in-game graphics are rastered polygons giving the game a more simulation-like feel. It's best controlled with the mouse and works quite well that way.
Overall your aim is simple: mastering the course as best as you can... and beating a set time to challenge computer opponents. Only one car to drive, there's only one course, doesn't sound like much. But it is quite enjoyable and a decent try in bringing the arcade game to your home. In 1991, Domark released Hard Drivin' II, which added a couple more tracks and a track editor. The sequel used exactly the same game engine as seen in this one... quite sad for a full-price game that was released two years later.
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