A spiritual successor to Out Run, Rad Mobile’s premise was simple: hop into a car that looked like a street legal Le Mans prototype, tighten up your obligatory fingerless leather driving gloves and hare across the USA like you’re late for the birth of your first born.
While it was significantly more detailed than its 1986 predecessor, Rad Mobile was still from that gloriously pixelated pre-3D era, choosing instead to fling two dimensional sprites at the screen quicker than your eyes could process them. The result was a game of sweeping banked corners, plunging drops and a Las Vegas stage that appeared to take place entirely in the sky.
On your Trans-American route you’d have to contend with night driving and freak rainstorms, prodding at the physical wiper and headlight buttons installed in the arcade cabinet. Just like Out Run the scenery changed as you progressed, the difference was that here you were carving a plausible path across the States, taking in not just well known locations like Chicago and New York but also more obscure stops along the way. This has to be the only racing game ever to feature Lincoln, Nebraska.
While the in-game speedo only ever tickled 173kph with your foot clamped to the floor of the cabinet, somehow Rad Mobile felt a lot faster and not just because you could cross the entire continent in a little over 15 minutes. Arrive at the finish line in time and you were ‘treated’ to an unintentionally horrifying ending sequence where a…