Hard Drivin' was released in 1989, when arcade driving games were implemented with scaled 2-D sprites and when solid polygon graphics (as opposed to wireframe) in games of any kind were rare.
The gameplay resembles a driving game, featuring a car similar in appearance to an expensive "sports car". The screen shows a first person perspective from inside the car, through the windshield. To separate it from other driving titles of that era, stunt loops and other road hazards were added. The game generally consists of 1 or 2 laps around the stunt track. In certain modes, if the player scored in the top 10, the player races against the computer controlled car, Phantom Photon. In this race, it was possible to race the wrong way around the course and beat the Phantom Photon across the start-finish line. The game challenges the players in a daredevil fashion and broke away from traditional racing games like Out Run or Pole Position. Stunts, a racing game produced later, has similar visuals, controls and tracks. It was also one of the first games to allow for more than three initials on the high-score board; which enterprising drivers could use to their advantage to construct sentences during the course of game-play.
A notable feature of the game is the "instant replay" display that is presented after a crash, which sets Hard Drivin' apart from most driving games of its time, which after a crash would just put the player back on the road, stopped, and let them accelerate again. Before resuming play after a crash, Hard Drivin' would run an approximately ten second animation, captioned "Instant Replay", which showed a wide aerial view of the movements of the player's car and surrounding vehicles leading up to the crash, with the player's car always centered on the screen.
Source: Wikipedia, "Hard Drivin'", available under the CC-BY-SA License.