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Power Drift (パワードリフト, Pawā Dorifuto) is a kart racing arcade game released by Sega in 1988. This racing game made much use of sprite-scaling to create a 3D effect, similar to contemporaries Out Run and Hang-On.

Power Drift
Power Drift arcade flyer.jpg
Arcade flyer
Developer(s)Sega AM2
Activision (Home Computers)
Copya Systems (PCE)
Director(s)Yu Suzuki[1]
Producer(s)Yu Suzuki
Designer(s)Yu Suzuki[2]
Composer(s)Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Alberto Jose Gonzalez (MSX)
Platform(s)Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Dreamcast, MS-DOS, MSX, PC Engine, Sega Saturn, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo 3DS
Amstrad CPC
Atari ST
Commodore 64
ZX Spectrum
PC Engine
  • JP: April 13, 1990
Sega Saturn
Genre(s)Kart racing
Mode(s)Single player
Arcade systemSega Y Board[4]
DisplayRaster 320 x 224 pixels (Horizontal),
24,576[5] out of 2,097,152 colors[4]



The objective is to finish each race in third place or better in order to advance to the next stage. Players have the option of continuing if they finish the race in fourth place or lower before the game is over. However, the player's score will not increase upon continuing the game.


The tracks have a roller coaster feel to them, with lots of steep climbs and falls, as well as the ability to "fall" off higher levels. To add to this feeling, the sit-down cabinet was built atop a raised hydraulic platform, and the machine would tilt and shake quite violently. Each circuit, labeled from "A" to "E" has a certain theme to it (for example, circuit A has cities, circuit B has deserts, circuit C has beaches, etc.) in a series of five tracks. There are also four laps for each course. Course A was Springfield Ovalshape, Foofy Hilltop, Snowhill Drive, Octopus Oval and Curry De Parl, Course B was Swingshot City, Phantom Riverbend, Octangular Ovalshape, Charlotte Beach and Highland Spheres, Course C was Bum Beach, Jason Bendyline, Nighthawk City, Zanussi Island and Wasteman Freefall, Course D was Mexico Colours, Oxygen Desert, Jamie Road, Monaco Da Farce and Blow Hairpin, Course E was Aisthorpe Springrose Valley, Patterson Nightcity, Lydia Rightaway, Bungalow Ridgeway and Karen Longway, The two extra stages with Courses A, C and E resemble a jet fighter from After Burner II and Courses B and D resemble a superbike from Super Hang-On.


Each course in the game has a theme song, and they are as follows:

Power Drift Music
Course Song
Course A Side Street
Course B Like the Wind
Course C Silent Language
Course D Adjustment Mind
Course E Artistic Traps

Ports and related releasesEdit

Power Drift was later ported to the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX, Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS and ZX Spectrum by Activision in 1989. The Spectrum version knocked the long-standing Robocop from the top of the sales charts.[6] A PC Engine version was developed by Copya Systems and published exclusively in Japan by Asmik Ace Entertainment on April 13, 1990. Sega later ported it to the Sega Saturn as part of the Sega Ages series of compilations on February 26, 1998, and in Yu Suzuki Game Works Vol. 1 for the Dreamcast on December 1, 2001. Due to the weaker hardware, every port (except the Saturn and Dreamcast ones) lacks the tilting action seen in the original arcade version. A 32X port was in development by Sega but it never released for unknown reasons.[7] Likewise, Dempa was also working on a Sega CD conversion that did not reached store shelves as well.[7]

If players place first on all five tracks (which is indicated by all five gold trophies on the number of wins display behind the course letter), an "Extra Stage" is unlocked, where the assigned car is a vehicle from other Sega games. Courses A, C and E allow players to race with the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet from the After Burner series in the Extra Stage, while courses B and D have an option to race the motorcycle from the Hang-On series. Players also can press the start button while in a race to see a rear view.

Oddly enough, the billboards in the game contain an ad for the well-known Coca-Cola soft drink, the now defunct real-life Chicago radio station WLAK 94, a sign showing Popeye holding a mug full of beer with text next to him that reads "SeaFood and Beer", a real estate sign saying "SOLD!" with the name of Australian real estate company Max Christmas, and for Los Angeles furniture store Victory Furniture, using each entity's then current real-life fonts and signage. This might have been an in-joke amongst the designers, or they might have been inspired from seeing Western advertisements in magazines, travels or the like.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "SEGA AGES/パワードリフト". Sega. Archived from the original on July 10, 2001. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
  4. ^ a b Game hardware page. Retrieved August 11, 2006.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-06. Retrieved 2014-09-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2016-05-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ a b Kuboki, Kei (March 1995). "Special K's Japan Now - Special K's last-minute info". GameFan. Vol. 3 no. 3. DieHard Gamers Club. p. 114.

External linksEdit