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Atari I/O LIVE! is our 2nd YouTube channel, dedicated to exploring the retro world of video games of the past! This channel features our gaming livestreams from Instagram and YouTube posted regularly.


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HANG-ON Sega Master System Livestream:


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🌃  S Ξ G Λ  N I G H T S  🌘

Memories of playing Hang-On for Sega Master System

Hang-On is a motorcycle driving game that came on a “Combo Cartridge” as the pack-in game with the Sega Master System. Growing up, I never paid much attention to Hang-On. I first played it at my friend’s house, he had a Sega Master System and seeing the games made me want to get one. I asked about Hang-On, it looked a lot like Pole Position II or Out Run, which was the Sega game I most wanted to play. My friend grimaced and said Hang-On was a cruddy game and we should play Shinobi instead.

He was right about Shinobi being an awesome game, and I wouldn’t realize it until this week but he was wrong about Hang-On. Yes, it’s a motorcycle racer that fits about halfway between Pole Position II and Out Run, with PPII’s lights and lack of music, and Out Run’s “Extended Play” with changing scenery every lap. Except Hang-On challenges you in new ways with special techniques and strategies. It’s not so much a racing game as a driving game, and it’s the motorcycle element that makes these special techniques possible.

I’ve had this game for 30+ years and never connected with it. I was more drawn to the other racing games I mentioned. But Hang-On always reminds me of the beginning of summer, pulling out the Sega Master System, cracking open a cold Snapple and having some snacks while I dive into the SMS library. This weekend I gave Hang-On another try. Even this week I didn’t care much for the game at first. Until I got a feel for the unique skill and strategy woven into this 8-bit classic. Something clicked and I connected with this game. What a beast.

BIG TIP OFF — Your motorcycle shifts through 3 gears. The best moments to shift gears are at 100km/h and 200km/h.

From the back of the box: “Hang-On / Safari Hunt: Motorcycle racing and jungle adventure - all on one Sega Combo Cartridge. Hang-On is the 3-D motorcycle race game that’s taken the arcades by storm. Race through grasslands, seasides, valleys, nighttime city scapes and, of course, motorcycle racecourses. The game is so fast it even gives you special techniques like Hang-on and Countersteering for taking the corners.”

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