Out Run

From Academic Kids

Out Run
Missing image
Outrun Screenshot

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Game designer: Yu Suzuki
Release date: 1986
Genre: Racing
Game modes: Single player
Cabinet: Standard and sit-down
Controls: Steering wheel; 2-position Shifter; 2 Pedals
Orientation: Horizontal
Type: Raster, standard resolution

Out Run (also spelled OutRun and Outrun) is a racing game released by Sega in 1986.



The player controls a man behind the wheel of a Ferrari Testarossa convertible who is driving with his girlfriend in the passenger's seat. Starting at the beach, he must pass through five checkpoints within a set time limit. At the time of its release, the game was unique in that it was possible to choose the stages in which the race took place, save for the initial one. Before every checkpoint, there was a fork in the road, allowing the player to enter one of two different environments. All of the gameplay was backed up by a very popular soundtrack of laid-back beach music, and featured three selectable tracks in all. The music was composed by Hiroshi Miyauchi, who also did the soundtracks for other Sega arcade games.

There were two arcade cabinet designs -- the usual upright machine, only with a steering wheel and stick shift (instead of a joystick and buttons) plus gas and brake pedals, and a sit-down version which looked roughly like a Testarossa. The sit-down cabinet itself came in two versions -- with hydraulics and without. The version with hydraulics turned and shook according to the action onscreen, much like Sega's Afterburner. The upright also came in two versions: normal and mini (neither with hydraulic feedback, naturally).

The game was a major hit with arcade-goers, and is often considered one of the best racing games released for the arcade. Its popularity can be attributed to the innovative hydraulic cabinet, to the choice in both soundtrack and route, and to the graphics, whose behind-the-back perspective gave players a better sense of speed than other games in the genre. Previous racing games had an overhead perspective, as if watching the player-controlled car from a helicopter.

In the arcades, Out Run was followed up in 1989 by Turbo Outrun. Turbo Outrun was a straight-ahead checkpoint racer in which you drove from New York City to Los Angeles in 16 stages. It also featured a more rock-infused soundtrack. While superior in audio and visuals, it lacked the charm that the original game had.

A more proper arcade sequel came in 1992 with OutRunners. It brought back the forks in the road, returning the game to its roots. Head-to-head support appeared in the game for the first time, and if arcade cabinets were linked, up to eight drivers could race against each other. The game also featured eight different cars for people to drive in. It was the most successful game released for Sega's System Multi 32 hardware, and one of the last successful 2D games released by Sega.

Out Run gained 3D graphics in 2003, when OutRun 2 was released to the arcades. This game was later ported to the Xbox.

There are three other Out Runs that were released for consoles only: OutRun Europa, Battle Out Run, and OutRun 2019. On the Sega Master System, there is also a special version of Out Run which makes use of 3D glasses that were designed for select games.


The other cars that you race against in this game are a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle, a 1971 Chevrolet Corvette, a 1985 Porsche Carrera 911 Turbo, and a 1985 BMW 325i Cabriolet E30.


Sega Master System (1987)
Commodore 64 (1987)
Amstrad CPC (1987)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1987)
MSX (1988)
Commodore Amiga (1988)
Atari ST (1989)
PC (1989)
NEC PC Engine (1990)
Sega Megadrive/Sega Genesis (1991)
Sega Game Gear (1991)
Xbox (2004)

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