Top Gear (video game)

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Top Gear
SNES Top Gear cover art.jpg
North American cover art
Developer(s)Gremlin Graphics
Programmer(s)Ashley Bennett
Ritchie Brannan
Simon Blake
Artist(s)Paul Gregory
Composer(s)Barry Leitch
Hiroyuki Masuno
SeriesTop Gear
Platform(s)Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Top Gear[a] is a racing video game for the Super NES, published by Kemco and developed by Gremlin Graphics in 1992. The objective of the game is to become the fastest driver in the world by racing other drivers across several nations. The franchise is unrelated to the TV series of the same name.

It marks the first game in the Top Gear racing game franchise, and it is one of the first racing games to be released on the Super NES. This game and its next two sequels were created by the same developers as the similar Lotus series of games released earlier on the Commodore Amiga and Sega Mega Drive systems.


Gameplay screenshot.

When players first start the game, they are given several options to choose from, including entering their name, a choice of four different controller layouts, a choice between automatic or manual transmission, and their choice of four unique cars. During the race, the player will have to steer and shift gears (if they chose a manual transmission). The player is also given control over three "nitros", which allow the player to increase their speed for a short period of time. The game features a password save system, made up of automotive terms such as "gear box" and "oilcloth". Each password grants access to another country to race in. During the race, there are pits in which players must stop in order to refuel. If their car runs out of fuel and coasts to a stop before the race is finished, the player will be disqualified.

Development and release[edit]

The music in Top Gear mostly consists of remixed tracks from the Lotus series of racing games on the Amiga produced by Barry Leitch. For example, the title music of Top Gear is taken from the ending of Lotus Turbo Challenge 2, and the third race of each country uses a remixed version of the Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge title theme.

The game (under the title Top Racing), along with several other retro titles, was released by Piko Interactive on a multi-cart for the Evercade handheld gaming system in 2020.[2]


Top Gear was met with positive reception from critics and reviewers alike since its release.


The game became very popular in Brazil. It inspired Brazilian company Aquiris Game Studio to create the arcade racing game Horizon Chase - World Tour, which features an original soundtrack scored by Top Gear composer Barry Leitch, who also contributes an unlockable remix of the Top Gear main title theme.[24]


  1. ^ Also known as Top Racer (Japanese: トップレーサー, Hepburn: Toppu Rēsā) in Japan.


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  2. ^ Ryan Craddock (2019-09-10). "The Evercade Handheld's Latest Cartridge Features Several Rare SNES Games". NintendoLife.
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  7. ^ Rosa, Piemarco (November 1992). "Top Racer (Super Famicom)". Consolemania (in Italian). No. 13. Xenia Edizioni. p. 73.
  8. ^ Menier, Marc (May 1992). "Super Famicom Review - Top Racer". Consoles + (in French). No. 9. M.E.R.7. p. 63.
  9. ^ Daldry, Jeremy (November 1992). "Reviews - Top Gear". Game Zone. Vol. 2, no. 1. Dennis Publishing. pp. 64–66.
  10. ^ Morisse, Jean-François; Demoly, Jean-Marc (June 1992). "Top Racer: Partez Pour Un Tour Du Monde Sur Route À Grande Vitesse!". Joypad (in French). No. 9. Yellow Media. pp. 150–151. Archived from the original on 2020-07-19. Retrieved 2020-08-02.
  11. ^ Morisse, Jean-François (November 1992). "French Collection - Top Gear: Duels Pour As Du Volant!". Joypad (in French). No. 17. Yellow Media. p. 166.
  12. ^ Demoly, Jean-Marc (May 1992). "Console News: Top Racer". Joystick (in French). No. 27. Sipress. p. 162.
  13. ^ Julian; Rich (July 1992). "Super NES Review - Top Gear". Mean Machines. No. 22. EMAP. pp. 56–58.
  14. ^ a b Rice, Chris; Green, Doug (August 1992). "Reviewed! - N-Force Knockout: Top Gear". N-Force. No. 2. Europress Impact. pp. 86–87. Archived from the original on 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  15. ^ Roberts, Nick (February 1993). "Six of the best! - Top Racer". N-Force. No. 8. Europress Impact. p. 71.
  16. ^ Merrett, Steve (January 1993). "Game Styles - Top Racer". Nintendo Magazine System. No. 4. EMAP. p. 107.
  17. ^ Delpierre, Christophe (November 1992). "Tests De Jeux - Top Gear". Player One (in French). No. 25. Média Système Édition. p. 122.
  18. ^ Forster, Winfried (June 1992). "Videospiele / Tests - Top Racer". Power Play (in German). No. 51. Future-Verlag. p. 155. Archived from the original on 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  19. ^ Yuste, Carlos (January 1993). "Consola - En pantalla: Top Gear - La carretera es nuestra". Superjuegos (in Spanish). No. 9. Grupo Zeta. pp. 64–65.
  20. ^ "What Cart? Super Play's Game Library - Top Gear". Super Play. No. 11. Future Publishing. September 1993. p. 92. Archived from the original on 2017-07-15. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  21. ^ "A-Z of Official Games - Top Gear". Super Pro. No. 1. Paragon Publishing. December 1992. p. 87.
  22. ^ "Auto Console - Top Gear". Tilt (in French). No. 109. Jean-Pierre Roger. November 1992. p. 69.
  23. ^ Eggebrecht, Julian (June 1992). "Test: Im Rausch Der Raser - Top Racer". Video Games (in German). No. 7. Future-Verlag. p. 112.
  24. ^ "Behind the Sega-core racing tunes of Horizon Chase - Kill Screen". Kill Screen. 2015-09-18. Retrieved 2020-04-25.

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