Race.a.bit is a very simple indie racing game that is fun at moments, but isn’t so good overall.
Developer: Aesir Interactive
Publisher: Headup Games
Genre: Retro racing
Release Date: 10 Mar, 2016
You are in control of a racing car and you have to complete the available tracks as fast as possible. There are boosts, there are jumps, there are teleporters, and that’s just about it.
- Music | The soundtrack is not that bad in my opinion. It improves the experience a lot, but it doesn’t save the game. There are multiple tracks that follow each other when you play the game. You can also skip the song if you don’t like it.
- Levels | There are quite a few official levels and they are not so bad. There are also a few achievements related to beating the official levels with a good enough time.
- Level Editor | Race.a.bit also features a level editor, which allows you to create your own racing tracks. The tool is quite powerful and you can do a lot with it. After you complete the track, you can also choose to publish it for other players to use. Your best score at the time of publishing is also set as the gold medal score.
- Achievements | This game has a lot of achievements. Some can be quite hard to achieve, some of them even cause problems which I will describe in the Cons section. If you are an achievement hunter, most the achievement are doable with some effort.
- Leaderboards | Every track has its own leaderboards, which allows you to compare yourself to the other players. There are plenty of players listed for official tracks, while the leaderboards for most user-created levels are close to empty, if not completely empty.
- Repetitiveness | After playing on 10 tracks, I started to feel a little bit bored. As I try to play the game as much as possible before writing a review, I played on much more tracks, leaving me even more bored. The levels are mostly the same, just the turns are a bit different. After you figure the game out, it’s all the same. Apart from getting the achievements, there’s really not much fun involved. Sadly.
- Controls | Controls were really not suitable for a racing game. At times, the controls are waaay to sensitive and it may be very hard to drive the way you want to. Some corners are very hard to do and even the official ghost sometimes struggles on some tracks.
- Official Ghost Imbalance | On the first few official tracks, the gold time ghost is incredibly easy to beat. It drives very slowly around all corners and it feels like it’s not even being serious, as much as a bot could even be serious. Then, at one of the tracks, the ghost starts to driving very very good. It knows all the shortcuts, it never makes mistakes, all of the turns are driven perfectly … and so on. And then every one in so many levels, the ghost is on the “newbie” difficulty again. I don’t know what to think about this.
- Achievement Hunting and Community Levels | One of the achievements requires you to post 20 of your own levels. Can you imagine what this means? This means that the list of community-made tracks is flooded with the shortest possible levels that take a second or two to complete. Every time you look at the newest levels, there is one person who flooded the whole page with such levels. There should be some restrictions when creating levels, such as the length of the track etc., because in the current state, it’s not very easy to find a good new level and it’s certainly not pleasant to search among those generic levels.
- Loading Times | For some reason, this game needs a long time to load all the menus. The leaderboards usually take a few seconds to load, same goes for user created tracks. There were a few times where I even needed to wait about 20 seconds to be able to return to the main menu.
- Cheap Looking Menus | I can’t say I’m exactly happy with how the menus look. They could certainly be improved to fit modern standards of good designing.
I’m not gonna lie, I did have some fun with this game. However, there were a lot of things which prevented me to enjoy further. The controls in this game are not exactly something to be proud of and that certainly doesn’t help this game’s repetitiveness. Community level browsers are flooded with generic tracks made by achievement hunters.
The official tracks are not that bad, but your gameplay experience may be at degraded at times because of imbalanced prerecorded ghosts you are racing against.
This is one of those games which I would love to rate “meh” if I could, but this is, unfortunately, not possible. I’m sad that I have to do this as mostly I only review games that I genuinely like, but right now, this will have to be the first game to which I am going to give a “Not Recommended” review. I will keep an eye on this game in hopes it will get better, but I doubt it ever will.