Hard Drivin'

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HardDrivin Title.png
Hard Drivin'
Publisher: Tengen
Publisher(s) of original games: Atari Games
Developer(s) of original games: Atari Games
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Original system(s): Arcade Boards
Genre: Racing

Number of players: 1
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥5,900 T-48013
Sega Mega Drive
$54.95[1] 301017-0150
Sega Mega Drive
£39.99 301017-0170
Sega Mega Drive
?F 301017-0170
Sega Mega Drive
DM ? 301017-0170
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas 301017-0170
Sega Mega Drive
$? ?
Sega Mega Drive
R$? ?

Hard Drivin' (ハードドライビン) is a 1988 arcade driving game developed by Atari Games and later ported to numerous consoles and computers including the Sega Mega Drive.


As an arcade game, Hard Drivin' emphasised the use of 3D polygon graphics and (realtively) realistic physics largely unseen in video games at the time, as opposed to longevity. There is only one course which is divided into two tracks; a "race" track which emphasises speed and a "stunt" track which has the player negotiate jumps and loops. The race is timed, with players having to reach checkpoints to keep play going, and the game ends when the counter reaches zero.

The player can crash into objects and opponent cars, which in turn leads to a loss of time. Likewise if the player strays off road for too long, this is registered as a crash. Crashes are followed by third-person replay, again novel for the time. Completing the stunt track within a certain time allows the user to race against an opponent car, the "Phantom Photon".

The Mega Drive version adds nothing to the experience, instead aiming to be a direct port of the arcade version. While reasonably accurate, fewer polygons are used in-game and the frame rate is much lower (albeit not as low as seen in some other ports of the game). The draw distance is also shorter, and the move to the Mega Drive's D-Pad sees a loss of the analogue steering seen in the arcade version.



One of Hard Drivin''s sequels, Race Drivin' also made it to the Sega Mega Drive in 1992. Race Drivin' includes all the content seen in Hard Drivin', but adds extra courses and vehicles.

Hard Drivin' stands as the first Mega Drive game to feature a full 3D world built with polygons.

Magazine articles

Main article: Hard Drivin'/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

GamePro US 018.pdf

Print advert in

GamePro (US) #18: "January 1991" (199x-xx-xx)

SegaVisions US 06.pdfSegaVisions US 06.pdf

Print advert in

Sega Visions (US) #6: "Fall 1991" (1991-xx-xx)

GamePro US 029.pdfGamePro US 029.pdf

Print advert in

GamePro (US) #29: "December 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
also published in:

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #30: "January 1992" (199x-xx-xx)[2]

CVG UK 125.pdfCVG UK 125.pdf

Print advert in

Computer & Video Games (UK) #125: "April 1992" (1992-03-15)

CVG UK 130.pdfCVG UK 130.pdf

Print advert in

Computer & Video Games (UK) #130: "September 1992" (1992-08-15)

ConsolesPlus FR 017.pdfConsolesPlus FR 017.pdf

Print advert in

Consoles + (FR) #17: "Février 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
52 №111, p81[4]
84 №18, p87[1]
86 №30, p90[5]
60 №2, p37
72 №13, p126
32 №5, p92
50 №21, p65
50 №2, p38/39[6]
51 №4, p58-60[7]
69 №18, p68
86 №5, p78[8]
40 №23, p53
81 №3, p54[9]
86 №18, p66
81 №1, p72/73[10]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
16 reviews

Mega Drive, US
HardDrivin MD US Box.jpg
HardDrivin MD US Cart Alt.jpg
HardDrivin MD US Cart.jpg
Cart (alt)
Mega Drive, US (cardboard)

HardDrivin MD US Cart.jpg
Hard Drivin' MD US Manual (cardboard).pdf
Mega Drive, EU
HardDrivin MD EU Box.jpg
HardDrivin MD EU Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, JP
HardDrivin MD JP Box.jpg
HardDrivin MD JP CartTop.jpg
HardDrivin MD JP Cart.jpg
Hard Drivin MD JP Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, BR
HardDrivin MD BR Box.jpg
HardDrivin MD BR Cart.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 3225baaf
MD5 2c1cd69c1c3ff24d5f4cb617fc0d5309
SHA-1 e15a3e704900b9736bc274bcb49d4421f4a3605b
256kB 1990-08 Cartridge (US/EU/JP)


  1. 1.0 1.1 File:GamePro US 018.pdf, page 105
  2. File:EGM US 030.pdf, page 24
  3. File:MegaForce FR 14.pdf, page 2
  4. File:CVG UK 111.pdf, page 81
  5. File:Generation4 FR 030.pdf, page 90
  6. File:MegaTech UK 02.pdf, page 38
  7. File:MeanMachines UK 04.pdf, page 58
  8. File:Raze UK 05.pdf, page 78
  9. File:SegaPro UK 03.pdf, page 54
  10. File:SegaForce UK 01.pdf, page 72