Format reviewed: Sega Master System
Being of a slightly newer vintage than many of you, I missed out on Enduro Racer in the arcade. I was, however, extremely familiar with the Master System game with which it shares a name – and as it happens, little else. Instead of essentially being Hang-On with more obstacles, Enduro Racer on the Master System is an isometric racer in which the goal is to pass as many cars and bikes as possible, while quickly reaching the goal. After each stage, it’s possible to spend points on upgrading your bike.
Everyone seemed to have this game for the Master System, but as I found out later on, it wasn’t because it was especially good or well-promoted. Much like with The Ninja, it was just because it was rather cheaper than the majority of other Master System games. It persisted well into the early Nineties as a staple of Sega’s range of budget Master System software, offering cheap thrills to cash-strapped players.
While it’s not a particularly bad game, it never received a great deal of love from the press and as it turns out, we actually got a cut-down version – the Japanese Mark III release had a larger ROM capacity, ensuring greater variety of stage designs, a snazzier intro and more. This doesn’t make a great deal of sense, but it’s exactly what happened. I’ve got fond memories of Enduro Racer, but it was always a role-player within my Master System collection rather than a superstar standout.