It is a competitive two-player game controlled using a two-way joystick, and features black and white graphics. The game was re-branded as Wheels by Midway Games for release in the United States and was influential on later racing games.
It is considered "the grandfather of car-based racing games", being the first arcade video game to feature racing between cars and the first to be controlled with a steering wheel. It was the first game to be based on a real racing circuit, and the first to feature a qualifying lap, where the player needs to complete a time trial before they can compete in Grand Prix races.
While not the first third-person racing game it was predated by Sega's Turbo , Pole Position established the conventions of the genre and its success inspired numerous imitators. It is, however, untrue to say that there were no games considered simulations in their time. The game offered an unofficial and hence with no official team or driver names associated with the series recreation of British Formula 3.
The hardware capabilities limited the depth of the simulation and restricted it initially to one track, but it offered a semi-realistic driving experience with more detail than most other racing games at the time. Also in , Sega produced Out Run , one of the most graphically impressive games of its time.
It used two Motorola CPUs for its 2D sprite-based driving engine, and it became an instant classic that spawned many sequels. It was notable for giving the player the non-linear choice of which route to take through the game and the choice of soundtrack to listen to while driving,  represented as radio stations. The game also featured up to five multiple endings depending on the route taken, and each one was an ending sequence rather than a simple "Congratulations" as was common in game endings at the time.
CBS Sony released Paris-Dakar Rally Special , an imaginative racing game with platformer and action-adventure elements, featuring Dakar Rally cars that could fire bullets, the driver able to exit the car and go exploring to lower a bridge or bypass other obstacles, underwater driving sections, and at times having avoid a fleet of tanks and fighter jets. It also featured force feedback, where the wheel fights the player during aggressive turns, and a crash replay camera view. That same year, the now defunct Papyrus Design Group produced their first attempt at a racing simulator, the critically acclaimed Indianapolis The game is generally regarded as the first true auto racing simulation on a personal computer.
Accurately replicating the Indianapolis grid, it offered advanced 3D graphics for its time, setup options, car failures and handling. Unlike most other racing games at the time, Indianapolis attempted to simulate realistic physics and telemetry , such as its portrayal of the relationship between the four contact patches and the pavement, as well as the loss of grip when making a high-speed turn, forcing the player to adopt a proper racing line and believable throttle-to-brake interaction.
It also featured a garage facility to allow players to enact modifications to their vehicle, including adjustments to the tires, shocks and wings. Ayrton Senna became "Carlos Sanchez", for example.
On the other end of the spectrum, Sega produced Virtua Racing in While not the first arcade racing game with 3D graphics it was predated by Winning Run , Hard Drivin' and Stunts , it was able to combine the best features of games at the time, along with multiplayer machine linking and clean 3D graphics to produce a game that was above and beyond the arcade market standard of its time, laying the foundations for subsequent 3D racing games.
Here it has item to affect players from racing and the referee, Lakitu will help you out to know the rules and rescue racers from falling down. Sega struck back that same year with Daytona USA , one of the first video games to feature filtered , texture-mapped polygons, giving it the most detailed graphics yet seen in a video game up until that time.
In , Sega Rally Championship introduced rally racing and featured cooperative gameplay alongside the usual competitive multiplayer. Lakitu can also rescue players. In , Gran Turismo was released for the PlayStation , after being in production for five years since It offered a wealth of meticulous tuning options and introduced an open-ended career mode where players had to undertake driving tests to acquire driving licenses , earn their way into races and choose their own career path.
The faster CPUs were capable of simulating increasingly realistic physics, car control, and graphics. Colin McRae Rally was introduced in to the PC world, and was a successful semi-simulation of the world of rally driving, previously only available in the less serious Sega Rally Championship.
Motorhead , a PC game, was later adapted back to arcade. In the same year, Sega releases Daytona USA 2 Battle On The Edge and Power Edition , which is one of the first racing games to feature realistic crashes and graphics marked a change of games into more "free form" worlds.
Midtown Madness for the PC allows the player to explore a simplified version of the city of Chicago using a variety of vehicles and any path that they desire. In the arcade world, Sega introduced Crazy Taxi , a sandbox racing game where you are a taxi driver that needed to get the client to the destination in the shortest amount of time. Games are becoming more and more realistic visually. Some arcade games are now featuring 3 screens to provide a surround view. The game allowed the player to drive anywhere around virtual recreations of London and New York.
Instead of using enclosed tracks for races, the game uses various checkpoints on the free roam map as the pathway of the race, giving the player the option to take various shortcuts or any other route to the checkpoints of the race.