The 1986 arcade classic OutRun, with its easy to pick up gameplay and simplistic mechanics, seems like it would be a perfect fit for the iPhone. It's strange then, given the wealth of racing games on the App Store, that no one has taken a serious stab at an OutRun-inspired game yet. Now, developer Oyatsukai.com has risen to this challenge with their first iPhone game Final Freeway, and delivered in fairly impressive fashion. Final Freeway does an excellent job at capturing the feel of the original OutRun, while offering tight controls with multiple configurations and a terrific sense of speed that runs well even on older devices.

Just as in OutRun, Final Freeway is a point-to-point racing game, where instead of trying to beat other cars to the finish you're trying to reach each checkpoint in the given amount of time until finally reaching the end. In total there are six different sections to race through, each with their own unique scenery, but unfortunately there aren't the branching paths at the end of each section as in OutRun. The racing is simple and arcadey, with the focus being to race each leg of the track as fast as possible while avoiding traffic and staying on the track. You don't crash in the game, but will slow down a lot if you hit another car or go off track. If time runs out before you reach the end of the track segment, it's game over.

In another nod to OutRun, you can choose one of three different tunes to listen to while you're racing in Final Freeway. Also, your ride looks suspiciously like a Ferrari, which is the staple car in the OutRun series. The graphics in Final Freeway are very nice, with added support for the higher resolution iPhone 4 and iPad displays. The framerate is ultra smooth, even on my iPod touch 2G, and makes for a blazingly fast sense of speed. There are touch and tilt control options, with various other configurations of onscreen button placement. Either control option works well, but I found myself preferring the touch controls. There isn't the option for auto-accelerate, only separate gas and brake buttons, but this actually benefits the game as it can pay to merely let off the gas when approaching turns rather than slamming on the brakes.

Really, the only fault of Final Freeway is that there just isn't that much of it. The six track locations are decent, and can be played on a normal or expert setting, but I would love to see more. It sounds like that just might happen too, as the developer is active in our forums and has hinted that more levels are on their way, as well as taking note of other suggestions from our forum members for future updates. With a few updates, Final Freeway could evolve into something truly special, although what is here already is quite competent for the price. The bottom line is that Final Freeway is fun, plays extremely well, looks great, and will scratch that OutRun itch whenever you need it to.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • http://www.twitter.com/Gregz0r Gregz0r

    I saw this pop up in my Twitter feed, and the only words I saw were 'OutRun' & '1986'.
    My heart skipped a beat.
    I'm still hoping for either the arcade ROM to work in iMame4all or for SEGA to pull it's finger out(yeah, right).

  • thewiirocks

    I never thought I'd see the day that someone would be faking a fake-3D sprite engine with a real-3D engine. My world is officially upside-down. :p

    • Dr. Wily

      Thanks for the chuckle.

  • Claes

    This is at the same time great news and really really frustrating. SEGA has two awesome driving games that really would be great additions to iOS: the original(!) SEGA Rally as well as the newer Outrun 2 or 2006. I suspect though SEGA doesn't believe porting any of would give enough return of investment.

    Either way, Final Freeway looks very interesting indeed. Oyatsukai must be a real Outrun fan.

    • br!an

      Don't forget Super Monaco GP!!

      • ortho

        and Turbo too?

  • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

    Just downloaded it and had a couple of quick games. I like it. Nice and simple, just really miss the Out Run music thou ;)

  • Bjorn

    Claes: That's exactly how I feel. Especially the 'new' Outruns like on the Xbox Live Arcade would work really well on IOS.

    Sega rally would be awesome as well.

    Will give this a try...

  • Deagon

    hmm....thinking i might download this, Looks fun for sure... at least it might hold me over untill Road Blasters=)

  • Piasintein

    It's not bad, but I want the original Out Run, arcade perfect.

  • Josh-kun

    How about "Daytoooooonaaaaa!" ?? XD

    • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

      Also SCUD Racer which I don't think was ever converted by Sega (the first level was a tech demo on the Development DreamCast kits).
      Sega has done so many great games, but seem happy just to release MegaDrive roms. A true shame.

  • http://oyatsukai.com Davide from oyatsukai

    Very happy with the article!

    I think that "fun homage" really nails it.

    This game doesn't try to replace or compete with the arcade classic, but it certainly hopes to be an homage to it and other similar games from that era.

    Yes, we are big Sega fan. Personally, Sega AM2 was one of the reasons that made me want become a game programmer and it's great to finally be able to make a game like this (only possible after quitting day job and spending 4 months locked in the apartment).
    But it's the positive reception that makes it really worth it now.

    ..but enough drama, back to fixing bugs now ;)

    • http://www.twitter.com/Gregz0r Gregz0r

      Great job! I have the 3 OutRun songs as mp3's on my iPhone. Any chance you could allow iPod playback whilst playing?
      A Chase HQ clone would be awesome too. ;-)

  • Passing Breeze

    Yay! Now, Sega, please... for the love of God... will you BRING ON THE REAL THING!!??

  • george

    Now this looks coolio, does the car flip in a crash though like outrun anyone?

  • Blades

    This looks really cool.

    However, it will not install on Software 3.1.3, it states that it need higher.

    Hopefully they fix that...

    l

    • Jason

      Devs are always expected to bend over backwards to conform to legacy systems (think computer gaming as a parallel to iOS gaming). Eventually, consumers need to bite the bullet and upgrade their hardware/software to be up to par with the rest. Think of it like this, try going to a store and buying a new game that will run on a windows 95 or windows 98 machine. Guess what... Not gonna happen! The only thing you might be able to find is ancient software in the bargain bin, but even that's a long shot. Sorry dude, but it's time for you to play catch up and upgrade. And please, please don't say you won't upgrade your iOS because you're jailbroken. Legitimate app-store devs shouldn't even have to consider that nonsense.

      • Blades

        Not not jailbroken. I just don't like OS4. Period. It's slower on my wifes 3rd Gen(IMO) and it eats the battery faster. I've been perfectly happy with 3.1.3 and it works just fine with OTHER newer apps that have come out.

        And I understand where you are coming from, but your windows 95 argument, doesn't really hold merit as Win95 is 15 years old versus Feb 2010 for 3.1.3.
        I mean, the firmware is barely 6 months old. Give me a break...

        ;

      • Yrogerg212

        Nope. It's pretty silly to not update your software because you 'don't like it.' This is not the developers problem.

      • Blinky McWeird

        Absolute rubbish. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to not want to upgrade from iOS3 variants, especially if you have older hardware. And as someone has already said, calling software/hardware that's six months to a year old "legacy" is just idiotic.

      • Jason

        I hardly think it's idiotic to call it legacy when that's exactly what it is. Forget about the time, that's simply a number, look at the rate of progression. iOS updates a hell of a lot faster than most, and while every little tiny update might not bring major changes, the ones that do are pretty frequent as far as an OS goes. It's constantly evolving, both on the surface and underneath. Stop and think about the comparability issue for a moment. Aside from hardware requirements not being met, as iOS evolves, so does that way that apps can interact with it and the hardware. Most compatability issues are due to the fact that an app makes use of features or code that are not possible on older versions of iOS. Sorry to say, but if you wanna keep up with the latest games, you gotta keep up to date with your hardware and/or OS. As for not wanting to upgrade OS for Blades' reasons, I can't fault him for that, understandable. But yes, 3.1.3 is in fact legacy due to major changes, you're gonna have to get over that.

  • BulkSlash

    Epic fail, there's no letter "W" on the high score entry screen, so I can't enter my initials! :D

    Other than that, it's great to have an Outrun-style game on the iPhone, and this works really well. I think the only thing I'd like to see added is an easy mode. I think when on a bus or train the jostling would make accurate steering a problem, so it would e nice to have a mode to cope with those situations.

  • http://oyatsukai.com Davide from oyatsukai

    @Gregz0r iPod playback is, understandably, a common request ad we'll add that in in either the 1st or 2nd update.

    @Baldes Sorry, in order to make this run both on iPad and other devices, we went the "3.2 or above" route.
    The advantage of this is that people won't have to buy the game twice if they own an iPad. And iPad owners won't have to pay for "extra pixels" ;)

    @BulkSlash The lack of 'W' was an embarrassing oversight! We've already fixed this, and it will come with the first update.
    Thank you for the report 8)

    • BulkSlash

      Nice one, looking forward to the update! :)

  • george

    Update, just bought it, and yer retro fans this is well worth a buck or 59p of your english pence, wonderfull, thank you.

  • http://oyatsukai.com Davide from oyatsukai

    @george Sorry, no crashing and flipping for the time being. It would be cool, but the list of additional requested features is long..

    • george

      Ok, and thank you for the reply dev, good luck.

  • Fujibayashi

    This game is great fun, thanks!
    The homage even extends to the Taito-esque font of the time limit and the score. :-)
    Everything is right with this, down to the
    Difficulty level - seems *just the right amount* of time is given for each level.
    Thanks again for this wonderful nostalgia!

  • george

    Oh and just another thought, ChASE HQ oh boy!

  • pete d

    at last! have been waiting for something like this. i loved trucker's delight but it just seemed too simplistic (and repetitive) ultimately in terms of gameplay and environments. there's such a great renaissance of pixel art and all things retro at the moment, but simple sprite-based arcade racers like outrun and chase HQ seem to have missed out. happy to see it's being rectified. nice work devs, buying now...

  • Mr. Reeee

    Carmageddon was the best racing game. EVER.

    I'd love to see it brought to the iPad!!!

    • george

      oh dont get me started on Carmageddon, awsome fun game :)

  • Blinky McWeird

    Davide: Any chance of having screen-flip implemented? Most landscape games play the other way round (ie with the Home button on the right), because otherwise your hand muffles the speaker on the iPhone 4.

    • http://oyatsukai.com Davide from oyatsukai

      It's done.. it will be in the 1st "maintenance" update which I sent to Apple today 8)

  • jehols

    Bought this and it's really cool!..Now please do a homage to Space Harrier hehe

  • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

    I know this game is old, but it's just so cool. It really holds up, as did Sega's OUTRUN, which it resembles.

Final Freeway Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 4