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Family Circuit
Box artwork for Family Circuit.
Japanese titleファミリーサーキット
Developer(s)Game Studio
Designer(s)Masanobu Endoh
Release date(s)
Followed byFamily Circuit '91
Neoseeker Related Pages
TwitchFamily Circuit Channel
YouTube GamingFamily Circuit Channel

Family Circuit (ファミリーサーキット?) is a racing game designed by Masanobu Endoh (designer of Xevious), developed by his company Game Studio and published by Namco for the Famicom. It was the first Famicom game published in 1988. It was never released outside of Japan, or translated into any other language. It is a simple racing game designed to be accessible to players of all skill levels. Rather than having to beat early skill levels and unlock better cars or more difficult race tracks, everything is immediately available to the player. The challenge of the game is to customize the cars so that they are well suited to take on opponents in four skill classes, and become a good enough player to compete in the highest class of racers.

The game is portrayed from a top-down perspective. All race tracks start from the starting line, and continuously move upward along a curvy track until the starting line is crossed again. While the tracks are meant to be circular, the player never actually directs his car down on the screen, only up. Cars can never crash into one another, so it's possible to drive right through an opponent, although it's possible to crash into obstacles that are place just outside of the track. Each class has its own set of racers and tracks. Namco followed this version of the game up three years later with a graphically enhanced sequel known as Family Circuit '91, and another three years later with Super Family Circuit for the Super Famicom. It also remade the game for the TurboGrafx-16 as World Circuit.

Main Menu[edit]

Family Circuit FC main menu.png

When you begin a new game, you are presented with a menu of options to choose from. The options are as follows

Japanese Translation
セッティング Setting(s)
フリーそうこう Free Soukou (Practice)
スプリントレース Sprint Race
たいきゅうレース Taikyuu (Endurance) Race
かんせん Kansen (Spectate)

Settings is described below. Free Practice allows you to race on any one of 40 different tracks for as long as you like (use left and right to see more tracks). Sprint Race sees you attempt to win against eight competitors in four different ranks, Novice (four tracks, drivers are named after popular Namco games and characters), B Class (six tracks, drivers are named after Namco employees), A Class (ten tracks, drivers are named after Japan F3000 champions) and Super A (sixteen tracks, drivers are named after F1 world champions). Endurance Racing is a competition to see how can reach 1000 yards first on a single track. This is a very long mode of play, and while tire changes and refueling at pit stops are unlimited, it is important to manage the use of these carefully in order to prevent falling too far behind. Spectator mode allows you to pick a class, racers, and a track and either peg the camera to one particular car, or allow free movement of the camera while you watch the computer play through particular courses. This mode is best used to watch how the cars maneuver through one particular portion of the track, it isn't fast enough to follow the cars moving at top speed.


Family Circuit FC type select.png

In this mode, you design your car to your exact specifications. A large number of combinations are possible. The first choice is which body type you would like to select (shown right). This choice is purely cosmetic, and does not impact the performance of your car. The next choice is what color pattern you would like. There are 26 selections of three color patterns, labeled A through Z. The next settings occur in the following order:

1) Turbo Boost
ターボのブーストあつ Turbo Boost pressure
たかい Takai (high)
ややたかい Yayatakai (somewhat high)
ふつう Futsuu (average)
ひくい Hikui (low)
2) Gears
ギヤひ Gear ratio
かそくじゅうし Kasokujushi (Acceleration emphasis)
mostly acceleration
mostly high speed
さいこうそくじゅうし Saikousokujushi (High Speed emphasis)
3) Engine Brake
エンジンブレーキ Engine Brake
きかない Kikanai (aggressive)
ふつう Futsuu (average)
きく Kiku (effective)
つよくきく Tsuyokukiku (highly effective)
4) Handling
ハンドリング Handling
かるい Karui (light)
ややかるい Yayakarui (somewhat light)
ふつう Futsuu (average)
おもい Omoi (heavy)
5) Brakes
ブレーキ Brake(s)
つよくきく Tsuyokukiku (highly effective)
きく Kiku (effective)
ふつう Futsuu (average)
きかない Kikanai (aggressive)
6) Tires
タイヤ Tire(s)
ハイグリップ High Grip
mostly high grip
mostly long life
ロングライフ Long Life

You will then be given a six character code which you can input before each race to produce the car of your specifications. You may enter any code in at the time before a race, but the game will remember the code of the last car that you created so that you don't have to type it in.

Table of Contents

Family Circuit/Table of Contents