Pure arcade racing to dive right into. You can play one-off races or Grand Prix mode, but at Blacknut we loved the Cops and Robbers mode where you play as either the robbers trying to get away, or the cops trying to stop them in their tracks. As for Drive or Die mode, it's also loads of fun if you liked the movie Speed.
Lots of us older gamers get nostalgic for the racing games of our youth, but try playing them again today and those rose tinted lenses are blown clear off. The games can be dated and unplayable by modern standards.
This game has the remedy. Its graphics and soundtrack harken back to the golden age of racing games, but with all the playability and handling expected of modern games. A tribute to the Sega of the Virtua Racing years, the game doesn't just include all your traditional modes like Grand Prix, Time Trials, and Multiplayer, it also goes above and beyond to win over fans of Need for Speed and Mario Kart by including game modes that are all about the fun, like "Cops and Robbers" and "Drive or Explode".
It really does have something for all tastes and all ages. The great news for newbies is that all of the tournaments are unlocked from the very start of the game, as are all the cars.
We particularly liked your real opponent in Hotshot Racing: that pesky clock! The tracks are dotted with checkpoints, and if you fail to reach them before the clock reaches zero you'll lose the race without ever even crossing the finish line.
And that's no mean feat, given that you also have to contend with seven opponents who never shy of bashing bumpers if it will cost you a few precious seconds.
Our tip: if you want to get back in the race or overtake your opponents just before the finish line, you'll need to keep building up boosts which you can then unleash at just the right time. To do that, you'll need to start drifting by quickly pressing the brake button while taking a corner. Handy!
Our favourite part? "Cops and Robbers" mode. You will be randomly assigned the role of the robber, trying to outrun the police, or the cops, trying to apprehend the crooks. The robbers can collect dollars, so they've always got some cash handy. And once you get caught, it's not quite game over, because you'll join the cops as they try to catch the other robbers.
You've also got to try the game mode that works a bit like the movie Speed: this is a high-speed race where you're driving a car that's rigged to explode. If you go below a certain speed, your car will explode. Great to play in two-player.
With its low-poly graphics, the game features a fine aesthetic – reminiscent of Virtua Racing – with dynamic gameplay and great handling. It takes no time at all to get to grips with the controls, meaning guaranteed multiplayer fun for gamers of all ages.
Hotshot Racing is more than just another retro racer: it's the real deal!
Publisher: Curve Games
Developer: Sumo Digital Ltd
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