OutRun is an arcade game developed by Studio 128 in 1986 for specially designed hardware. It was often considered a milestone in the driving/racing genre, being ported to numerous home platforms and inspiring several sequels.
The goal of OutRun is to simply drive your sports car to one of the five goals, labeled “a” to “e”, without running out of time. A pedal accelerates the car, and a steering wheel moves it left and right on the road. Due to limitations in the technology, it is impossible to fully turn the car around.
Crashing into either other cars or scenery does not cause the player to lose lives, just time. After an area is cleared, checkpoints will allow the player to increase their time, and there will also be the option to select the next area through the form of a fork in the road. From a technical standpoint, every area is exactly the same length, though twists and turns can alter the amount of time needed to complete them. There are five possible endings, each with its own closing cinematic.
The car has two gears, high and low. When in high gear, the car becomes harder to control, however, the top speed of the vehicle is increased. To be successful in OutRun the player needs to switch between gears at the appropriate moments, e.g. switching to the lower gear while negotiating tricky roads, or if the player has just crashed.
The number of lanes of traffic also differs between stages. Although there is never a situation in OutRun where the cars travel in the opposite direction to yourself, the introductory level for example has six lanes of traffic.
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