Day 60: Little Racers

Posted: 2011/01/08 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #60, and today’s game is “Little Racers”.

I’m a big fan of classic twitch arcade racers like Super Sprint, Badlands, and Super Off-Road. This game is the latest in that esteemed list, and there are things that I like about it more than its progenitors (and any excuse to use “progenitors” is a good excuse).

Firstly, this game is fast. So fast I was concerned about the controls, but I was pleasantly surprised that the controls never seemed unforgiving, and I quickly found I was mastering them. Secondly, unlike the arcade racers of old which were relatively spartan affairs, here you have a plethora of options (and any excuse to use “plethora” is a good excuse): a singleplayer championship mode, up to 4 player local multiplayer, and up to 12 person online multiplayer. The AI is challenging (and, the game’s developer insists, doesn’t “cheat”), and the AI capability is configurable. In addition to the various modes, you also have 20 individual tracks (some of which are very non-traditional in their layout and offer a real challenge).

The presentation is very nice. Every squealing tire leaves marks on the track that accumulate throughout the race, objects along the side of the track react to being hit by cars, and the tracks loop upon themselves in classic top-down arcade racer fashion meaning you have to worry about cars ahead, or behind, you crashing into you (or you into them).

One of the more interesting elements is a ghost car training mode where you race against a growing number of ghost cars as you practice the track.

Little Racer is 240 Microsoft Points of top-down racing nirvana and has tight controls and great presentation along with online play and a host of features. If you’ve ever enjoyed a top down racer, then this game is a must buy.

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