Cover artwork of Gallop Racer, the first game in the series.
Gallop Racer (ギャロップレーサー?) is a horse racing video game, created by Tecmo. Originally for the arcades, it is available on the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PC platforms. Thus far, there have been eight editions released in Japan, six in North America and two in Europe. The six games released in North America thus far are:
- Gallop Racer
- Gallop Racer 2001
- Gallop Racer 2003
- Gallop Racer 2004
- Gallop Racer 2006
- Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer
Gallop Racer is an open-ended game. You buy horses to train, race, and breed. Most of the Gallop Racer franchise revolves around this theme. Gallop Racer 2004 breaks this theme and puts more emphasis on the jockey than on the horses. The basic theme returned with Gallop Racer 2006.
Famed game developer Jamie Schaffranek has been rumored to have placed a bid on the franchise with hopes to make a Wii compatible port.
Horses are classified into four leg types (the preferred position in relation to other horses in the race). The four leg types are:
- Front Runner
- Deep Closer
In order to gain the maximum stamina/spirit during the race, the horse should be ridden in its proper leg type.
There are two basic divisions in the Gallop Racer series- dirt and turf. Obviously, this represents the preferred surface of the horse. Some horses can run well on both turf and dirt.
They are several horses that can be unlocked and bought during the game. Most of these horses have real-life counterparts, but real names are not used. Later games in the series include some major champions including the eleven US Triple Crown winners.
Races in Gallop Racer are divided into four classes, depending on the quality of the horses in the race, and the type of race:
- Grade III
- Grade II
- Grade I
Most of the major tracks in the United States, Japan, and Europe are featured. The races do not however go by their official names. For example, the three races in the US Triple Crown are known as The Louisville Derby, The Baltimore Derby, and The New York Derby. Elite Grade I races like the US Triple Crown, and the Dubai World Cup (known in the game as the Universal Cup) must be unlocked by winning certain races, and meeting certain requirements.
Races can range in distance from 5 furlongs (5/8 mile) to 20 furlongs (2.5 miles), and all race distances are the same as their real life counterparts.