Racing Games

Racing Games: How They Evolve (Part 2)

The genre shaping 

As the 80s began, new things kept being added to the racing titles; things that are still one part of the genre. In 1980, Rally-X arrived and was the first to feature background music in the racing game. For a similar year, Sega launched Turbo. It was the first that introduced sprite scaling as well as full-color graphics.

1982 witnessed the landmark since Space Race, in the Pole Position’s form. With it, racing games left the arcade-design and began mimicking real-life circuits of racing. The game introduced a lot of elements such as tournament-style racing and multiple laps. Also, it used all the features which were previously introduced and were appreciated, such as full-scale coloring and background music. Pole Position was among the most successful games in 1983, as well as the most successful racing game in the 80s.

Still, the racing games’s innovation continued in a more determined way. Most people remember Hang-On, the 1985 game, to become the first to introduce bikes. Not all, it was the first to employ 16-bit graphics in the racing game. Sega indeed outdid itself by, in 1986, launching Out Run; the game featured graphics ahead of its time, along with one nonlinear race track which, depending on the choice of the use, could lead to five different destinations. Rad Racer was brought the next year. It was the first racing game to use stereoscopic 3D graphics. Most of these games failed to make a legacy and are mostly forgotten today, but they introduced the technologies that, later on, would form the racing genre.

Also, the 80s was the decade that racing games were first employed to drive simulations. For example, the GPX series came in 1984 yet failed to take off. Following failed attempts, in 1989, Indianapolis 500 came.