Out Run Europa is an interesting game in that it was designed and written by British developer Probe Software in 1991. Sega simply provided a license and Probe made the game. And: this wasn’t a conversion of an arcade game – it was a spin-off from Out Run, produced only for home computers at the time.
Out Run Europa was published by US Gold and appeared on the following systems: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Gear, Master System, and ZX Spectrum.
I’m looking at the Commodore 64 version here, which is very highly-regarded.
What makes Out Run Europa good is that it is simple to play and has quite a bit of variety. You start off riding a motorbike, then progress onto a jet ski (!), before finally getting to drive some cars. Control of the vehicles is subtle. Touch the sides of the road and you’ll crash, but you can thankfully withstand some bashing from other cars (or boats) on the road (or water) if they make contact with you. In general the feel of the game is relatively similar to another C64 classic bike racing game, Super Cycle. Which is no bad thing because Super Cycle is great.
What this game does have, that Super Cycle doesn’t, is… cliff edges! And police chases. And various other features that have been crammed in. Like the ‘jumps’, and the tunnels.
Out Run Europa is excellently programmed and there’s a decent soundtrack by Jeroen Tel too. The game does load in chunks, but not after every track, which is a relief.
Overall Out Run Europa on the C64 is one of the best racing games on the system. Not that surprising when you consider how late it came in the machine’s life.