It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago, Hard Drivin’ was released in the Arcades. Doesn’t time fly? The first time I saw Hard Drivin’ it was at one of the many Amusement Arcades in Skegness. I was only twelve at the time and couldn’t believe it when I saw an Arcade game which was just like driving a car. I always thought KIT from Knight Rider would be the first car I would ever drive, but Hard Drivin’ was close enough.
I inserted my many collection of 10p coins weighing my shell suit bottoms down and sat in the drivers seat. I had a steering wheel, gearbox and pedals at my disposal. I turned the ignition key, the engine roared and for that moment, I was driving. How fast can I go? Where would I drive to? Moments later into a cow as it turns out. I was greeted by the now infamous “Moooooo!”. I remember my windscreen cracking and a replay was shown. I started the engine and began to drive again, only this time more successful. I managed to drive around a bend and I saw something looking like a loop the loop. A second later the GAME OVER message appeared. I was out of money too. Was my first experiance of driving a car over so quickly?
A few days later I dragged my Dad into the same Arcade and got him to try it. Not only did my Dad have the same enthusiasm I had, he also experienced the same problems. No matter how he drove, unintentionaly he would crash. I know my Dad’s driving is legitimate because he managed to drive about 90 miles to Skegness without a single crash and I don’t recall him bumping into any cows on the way.
Why was this Advanced Car Simulator not very good? I didn’t know the answer until I started to learn to drive. The reason is, it does not drive like a real car. Its feels too slow with no sense of movement. Its far too easy to crash and the windscreen cracks far too easily. Stunning polygon graphics and sound aside, the game has no depth. Drive around a corner, jump a bridge and a loop the loop was all you got. I like Hard Drivin’ because of the memories playing Arcade games in the 90’s and not because it was the a good game or car simulator. It was neither of these.