I really, really didn't want this review to mention any Sega Master System vs. NES hyperbole, but I can't help it. I really can't help it. This is the second time I've completed a Sega-made Master System game that has evoked mental images of Sega reps scratching their heads, wondering why the Master System wasn't doing nearly as well as the NES. Hang On is a poor man's Rad Racer with motorcycles. A really, really poor man's Rad Racer. And, yes, Rad Racer is a rip-off of Sega's Out Run, but it's still 20 times the game Hang On is.
So, with such a low score, you're probably thinking Hang On must be unplayable. Well, no, that's what the "0", "0.5", and "1" star scores are reserved for. Hang On is playable, and that's all it is. This game is so easy that even on the hardest difficulty setting, I looped the game over 15 times, and finally had to turn it off. There was no stopping me. There was no point in continuing play. Was this astounding feat accomplished after hours and hours of practice and learning the game's mechanics and design? No. It was achieved after playing the game about 2 or 3 times and (quite easily) figuring out the "technique" for passing the other motorcyles and taking the curves, all of which took maybe half an hour at most. There are Atari 2600 games with way more depth than this. Hang On offers nothing new on consecutive rounds and no rewards for completing them. There is no reason anyone ever has to play it.
If forced to say anything nice about this game, I could say that it looks good. Games like this usually do (Pole Position 2, Rad Racer, Out Run, to name a few.) But the last level is a palette swap of the first level, and the cityscape isn't as impressive as the one in Rad Racer. Even worse, Hang On has absolutely no music, except for the title theme.
If, perchance, something should possess you and make you buy Hang On, at least get the one that comes on the same cart as Astro Warrior. That way, you'll at least get something worth playing.