Hang-On (Sega Master System) Retro Review

Hang-On is a 1985 arcade style driving game for the Sega Master System developed by Sega AM2 and published by Sega. Its a port of the notably cooler Arcade version which is not only better in general but also had some cabinets shaped like bikes that players had to ride on. The goal of the game is to simply keep racing until you run out of time while avoiding obstacles and other racers.


Like most old games the title screen is very simplistic with a tiny tune to accompany it (which i assume isn’t so short in the arcade version). By pressing up and down you can choose between 3 levels which a surprising amount of old games let you do although unless you’re good at the game its pointless. Something awkward i noticed is while it says Press Start button i ended up having to press C (which is also the drive button).


Getting into the game found the graphics quite nice and felt it was ported quite well although the fact you and your bike both explode when you crash (instead of just your bike) looked really weird. There wasn’t any music in game at all until after you’ve lost which i found a bit odd, because i knew about Hang-On via Sonic Riders i used to think the theme tune would be played. As for gameplay the controls were easy to get used to and what you had to do was guessable but there was one seemingly dumb development choice, to switch between the 3 gears and go faster you had to press down. I also never got entirely used to turning corners although neither had an impact on the overall fun of the game even if i wasn’t that good (although the player in the demo dies alot too lol). However i did feel the arcade version would be more fun (the M.A.M.E emulator on Android has tilt controls for example but my Android tablet is very low quality so it wasn’t worth trying).

Overall it was quite a fun game and i recommend giving it a try except if you’re going to emulate it you might as well play the original.


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