A retro style racing game that feels like you should be playing it in the early 90’s in the local arcade. Formula Retro Racing goes for low-poly visuals, a retro soundtrack (that is way too repetitive) and action-packed gameplay to fit the time-period it is inspired by.
Developed and published by Repixel8, Formula Retro Racing is not looking to provide you with a realistic experience. The first time you bounce off another car as they drive into you and explode into pieces on a wall will tell you that. Instead it’s all about speed as you duck and dive between AI opponents on route to winning one of eight races.
Each race begins with a ‘rolling start’ and has you at the back of a pack of twenty cars. Across multiple laps and with a timer counting down, your goal is simple…get to the front. To keep it feeling arcade-like, there are also checkpoints that add time back on. It rarely becomes an issue but a few too many crashes or mistakes will result in time running out.
On the easiest difficulty, winning is simple and even possible with a few crashes here and there. However, the real challenge and excitement comes from the following two difficulties. Where you’ll really have to master speeds, braking around corners and using the slipstream of leading cars. The controls hold up well even if the cars feel a little too light on faster speeds.
Arcade mode features eight tracks and three difficulties to master on each one. However, there’s also the Eliminator mode. A mode that adds a different kind of challenge as once you get to tenth place, you’re required to not drop below that position. Easy enough, except every completed lap sees your opponent’s get progressively quicker. Eventually, regardless of your skills, they will pass you with ease and once you drop below 10th, you will be eliminated ending the mode. Registering the number of laps you completed and awarding points to the equivalent laps.
…and that’s it. There’s no career mode or multiplayer to extend the life. However, that’s not really a flaw seeing as it’s an indie title. What is a flaw is the total lack of variety in cars. There’s just one and you can change the colour of it. Wow.
Most players will quickly tire of the repetition, especially on the easiest of difficulties but truth be told, this isn’t a game you play for hours and hours. It just doesn’t have enough content to sustain longevity. However, in short bursts there is fun to be had.
Formula Retro Racing
The Final Score - 6/10