Horse-racing sim?

Is there a good one?

I doubt it, but you may have some luck finding a decent simulation of watching paint dry.

Hmm, they just had an episode with a horse racing sim on last week’s G4tv.com. Some may say it was just an excuse to get the two girl hosts to dress up in riding outfits.

I think the game was Gallop Racer 2003. Here’s a gamerankings link (I haven’t played the game nor read any reviews): http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/25359.asp

Gallop Racer 2003 is more of an arcade game than a serious sim, but is good for what it is. It’s also PS2 only.

Ignatius, there are a few decent ones out there.

There is an online racing simulation where you compete with literally thousands of other stable owners on a week to week basis at www.simulatedsports.com. The game uses fictional horses but uses real sires and dam sires. (They also have a college basketball game at that site.)

There is a game that is shipping soon called Starters Orders, which is made by the same guy that did Stable Masters for ESP Software a few years ago. It’s based on English flat racing but the demo looks promising. http://www.startersorders.com/

bill

You may be able to dig up an old copy of MicroLeague’s Quarterpole. Outside of that, stick with William’s suggestions :)

Horse racing and jockey sims and arcade games are very popular in Japan. It’s a significant genre over there. If you are willing to mod or buy an import console, you could pick up a wide variety of horce racing games.

I suspect that the more sim-like the harder it would be to play without being able to read Japanese, but you never know. Depends how much effort you want to put in.

I’m sure there’s a modern game from some small company, but mainstream horse racing games for computers pretty much disappeared in the mid '90s. (MicroLeague released a pair for MS-DOS before it vanished; I’m not sure whether they run under Windows.)

One of the best was OmniPlay Horse Racing in the late '80s or early '90s. Distributed by Mindscape (and, later on, by Virgin under the name Sport of Kings), it had a wild number of add-on modules for a product of that era and (like all the OmniPlay games) a wonderful “feel” that left the impression you were watching your horse in a real race. :)

Peter

Ha ha, yeah when i was in japan I actually saw people betting on horse rasing sim’s at the arcades. It was quite a bizzare expirence. People sitting watching 3d modeled horses and jockies race round a virtual track and slipping tokens into their betting machines.

You could check out Final Furlong. It’s an arcade game, not really a sim, but it’s kind of fun.

The more sim-like arcade game is Sega’s “Derby Owner’s Club”, and they actually had one (complete with massive screen and 8 sit-down terminals) last time I went to Dave and Buster’s in the Great Mall, Milpitas, CA (Silicon Valley-ish).

Here’s a fan-site for Derby Owner’s Club (!):

http://expertdoc.flex.com/

For what it’s worth, I watched it for a while, and it seemed rather cool - you buy an (actual physical) smartcard for each horse, which gets saved out with details of how well it’s doing, and the gameplay is in deciding how/when to train and feed the horses, deciding default types (late finisher vs. steady runner), and deciding when to whip the horse on during the race. Some of the hardcore players at the Great Mall had card books full of their, uhh, stable. But yes, scary too.

Ohmy, and I just noticed that that fanpage is talking about selling the cards on Ebay:

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?MfcISAPICommand=GetResult&SortProperty=MetaEndSort&ht=1&query=derby+owners+club

As far as other horse racing games, there’s “Stakes Winner” and its sequel on the Neo Geo, though they’re kinda basic - the MVS cart goes super-cheap though. “Gallop Racer” for PS2 seems to get decent reviews in general, though:

…retreating into corner to hide from shame,
Simoniker.

I might still have a copy in my mom’s garage. The running joke around the company was that the horses in the game looked like sheepdogs. Well, I guess that’s not a very funny joke…but if you worked at Microleague, you were really reaching for anything to lighten the mood, like a printer paper jam or a gas leak in the building. Another company made a Windows version with new graphics in the mid-90s called “Hooves of Thunder” – it looks like you can still get Quarterpole and/or Hooves of Thunder from Wizard Games.

Quarter to Three – the only forum where you can get serious in-depth information on horse-racing sims. :)

Sure does beat usenet for content…

–Dave

I’m really intrigued by this card system. It would be great to see it applied to a genre with more widespread appeal than horse racing sims. It could enhance the Gauntlet: Legends mold without much imagination, but better yet, think of what it could do for fighting games (I’m talking to you, Playmore). Imagine a fighting game with a system similar to the one in KOF R-2, in which you have a choice to create your own character rather than using a prefab one, and as you fight, you “level up” and can increase damage, speed, etc, or opt to add new special moves. Saving the character to a card that you can take to any arcade… I’m salivating at the thought.

Hey, thanks for the awesome replies. I bet this thread is now the definitive receptacle of knowledge about horse racing sims.

When I searched on Google I got buried with a bunch of results for online “games” that are really some weird form of gambling real money on fake horses (sounds like a bad idea to me right from the get-go.)

I did run across this British site that sells Quarter Pole Plus (mentioned here by someone else), Hooves of Thunder and some older things like that.

Perhaps more tantalyzing is this new (French?) product, Horse Racing Manager, which looks a bit like Baseball Mogul for the horsey set. There appear to be a couple of demos of this one kicking around out there.

I’m a little alarmed by the screenshots from this game, though, showing the horses racing clockwise around the track. Is that how they do it in the Southern hemisphere?

Then I stumbled into Horse Racing Fantasy, a Fun Computer Game! (well, that’s what the web site says). I downloaded the demo last night and indeed I had fun with it, even though the graphics are badly out of date. I was concerned by the fact that when I jockeyed a horse it seemed to do substantially better than with the AI jockeying. Even worse are the outrageous prices they are charging ($80 for the complete product). That’s too much for what looks like shareware from the 80’s.

I don’t own a console and if I was to purchase one, I wouldn’t start with one imported from Japan, but it’s interesting to hear that the Japanese have turned it into a major genre.

I’ll investigate all the interesting leads here and if I can find it, I’m gonna get the demo of this Horse Racing Manager game, which appears to be the most recent entry in the, um, Horse Racing Sim stakes.

Many tracks over there run clockwise. Not all, but a good number of them. That’s an annoyance of mine of Gallop Racer 2003. They (Tecmo) have tracks in the States that run clockwise. That’s like hitting a baseball and running toward 3rd base. Horse Racing Manager…is that the one with harness racing as well as Thoroughbred? Anyway, if you are going to try to get Quarterpole, you may as well skip it and get Hooves of Thunder which was the sequel to that game and is much, much better. There’s another old game called Good to Firm which isn’t terrible, either–if you can find it.

bill

Well, I downloaded the demo of Horse Racing Manager, the new French game, and even though it is technologically light years ahead of what else I have found on the web (3D graphics, etc.), the gameplay is no fun at all. Jockeying is far too difficult and the horses don’t behave in a very believable fashion.

It was a slow (hour-long) download so I thought I’d just mention the poor quality in case anyone else here got interested in it.

(Visiting their English-language forums, where it’s mostly Brits and Germans discussing the game, reveals a general state of dissatisfaction among people with the complete game, too…)