When I was much younger, I used to love playing classic top-down racing games with my friends on consoles like the Super Nintendo and Sega Megadrive (Sorry America it just sounds so much better!), with us all sat around a stupidly large TV with a much smaller screen jostling for position whilst slamming each other into the walls, but over the years the focus on these co-op arcade racing gaming experiences as slowly drifted into the distance with a focus on more realistic, graphic heavy, racing experiences. This has left a gap for retro gaming lovers wanting something new to play that still maintains that retro arcade feel.
And it is this gap which developer Pretty Fly Games is trying to fill by bringing back that nostalgia feeling to modern systems with their newest release Total Arcade Racing! Released on 19th November 2021 on Xbox consoles. The game was previously released on Steam and Nintendo Switch platforms. The game is described as a tribute to classic arcade racing games like Super Sprint and Slicks ‘n’ Slide where you can zip around closed circuits and it delivers a very simple, yet extremely fun hit of nostalgia to people like me who loved these classic games!
The game features a selection of game modes including Time Trials, Championship, Elimination, Demolition Derby and Car Hockey to name a few, with 14 different tracks and 6 unlockable vehicles to work your way through so there is plenty to keep you busy!
Gameplay wise the controls are as twitchy in their response as they were back in the day, so you will be flying all over the track, into other racers, avoiding obstacles and sliding through the oil spills with ease after getting used to the retro feel. Its refreshing to play a game that doesn’t follow the modern-day racing formula/template and although its extremely quick and easy to pick up and play it will take you a while to master.
While the game is perfectly playable solo, it shines when you gather a group of family/friends to play its local multiplayer. There is a lot more enjoyment to be had when you’re flinging your car around the track with others as they tend to drive much more erratically than the computer opponents and the game supports up to 8 players one system which is perfect for a gathering of retro loving gamers! The lack of online multiplayer is a bit of a bummer as it limits the multiplayer shenanigans to when friends are physically available, but it does keep to the simple, retro style that the game presents. While there is A lack of online multiplayer, the developer has included online leader boards so you can see how you stack up against players around the world.
Overall the game is a fun little reminder of times gone by and while it is fun to jump in for a few races every now and then, I feel that the longevity rests on how often you can bring your friends round to join the fun!
Total Score 6.5 / 10
Total Arcade Racing is now available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S for a price of £9.99. At the time of writing this review there is also a launch sale where you can save 20% and grab the game for an even lower price of £7.99! The game supports Smart Delivery and is Optimised for Series X/S with 4k resolution and 60Fps. You can buy the game HERE
A copy of the game was provided for this review.