Wednesday, 3 April 2013

REVIEW - Retro Racers (PC)

Retro Racers is a brand new top down racing game with an extremely retro look and feel. Clearly inspired by games such as Super Sprint, Micro Machines (due to the toy-like appearance of the cars) and Amiga combat racer 'Nitro', Retro Racers goes back to the fundamentals of the racing genre. Simply race around a course consisting of various twists and turns, beating your rivals to the finish line. The tracks are littered with power-ups that increase your speed or acceleration, improve your handling, or give you a nitro boost. The cars feel responsive, if a little weighty, and it offers up some basic entertainment for the duration of its 18 courses. There is a split screen two player mode too which is good fun if you can find someone willing to share the space in front of your keyboard. Gamepads are supported, of course, seeing as they are absolutely essential for any self respecting PC gamer these days.

If you squint hard enough, it almost looks like an Amiga 1200 game
 - Except without any of the pixellated charm

It is a mildly entertaining game, but not particularly gripping. The visual style is competent, but extremely bland and the music is generic Euro dance tracks that don't even loop properly. Retro Racers simply has no character whatsoever. It is one of those soulless games that look as though they were churned out by a piece of software.

Races are enjoyable for a while, but boredom soon sets in

Despite teetering on the edge of 'fun' for the first 10 minutes, I found myself getting bored after 5 tracks. It simply offers nothing new – which can be fine if the game is amazing to play – but this isn't. By far the worst aspect of Retro Racers is the utterly preposterous price tag of £8. I could have recommended this if it were priced at the lower end of the Desura price scale, maybe £1.99, but a whopping £8 is crazy.

You can go off the track to cut corners which can also give you 
a good line for collecting power-ups

I cannot speak for the iPhone version as I do not own one of these, but it looks very similar to the PC game, and costs a fraction of the price ($1.99) so if you are into your old school top down racers and own an over priced Apple device, then it maybe worthy of your time. For PC and Mac owners it is a case of move along, nothing to see here.

The Good

  • Back to basics overhead racing fun... for a short while

The Bad

  • Visuals and music lack charm or character
  • Gameplay is extremely bland
  • Absurd price tag

Developer : Mr Qwak Games
System Reviewed : PC
Also Available On : Mac and iPhone
Price : £8.00 / $1.99