Published on July 29th, 2016 | by Rares Gruian0
Hot Rod Racer Review (Wii U)
There are plenty of arcade games on the Wii U eShop that focus on strictly getting a high score. So, ZeNfa Production’s Hot Rod Racer already faces an uphill battle to distinguish itself from the rest. Does it succeed in pulling that off? Let’s find out.
This endless top-down driving game has players driving on a randomly generated path. The goal is to do so without getting hit. Naturally, the further you get down the road, the higher your score goes up. It’s a simple concept, but it does add a few things to try to keep me engaged while playing.
There are two different vehicle types: a car and motorcycle. The car can shoot in front of it at oncoming obstacles while the motorcycle cannot. But the bike is much faster and smaller than the car, which allows for better dodging and fitting on narrower paths. I preferred the motorcycle for the most part because I like getting into the faster paced sections faster, and the rockets of the car seemed to distract more than help. There is also a level-up system that will take your distance and give you XP for it, which is used to unlock things like alternate colors for your vehicles and Miiverse stamps. This is a nice touch and something that most similar games might not even implement.
With all of these unlockables, you’d think this game has a lot going for it variety-wise, but that isn’t the case. It’s virtually the same this every time. So despite it being a score driven game, there isn’t much incentive to do so. I quickly got bored doing the same thing over and over with little to no payoff. The game also throws quite a few unfair obstacles in your way, like paths you can’t get past which force you to crash and start over. Your vehicle also sometimes pulls in one direction without adjusting the stick at all making it quite inconvenient to navigate narrow paths at times at times.
There isn’t much that can be said about the visuals, as they look like there were made from simple shapes or taken from a clip art site. It doesn’t look like there was much effort put into the visuals, and they were even confusing at times. For example, running into blue oil tanks was good, but red ones were bad. I also ended up driving into the water since it looks like ice you could slide on. Also, oil spills, which are traditionally bad in driving games since they cause you to spin out, are actually good in this game as they give your vehicle more fuel. The visuals deliver many unclear mixed messages, and are not too appealing to look at in the first place.
There are a few music tracks in the game, but none are very memorable. There are also sound effects for various actions like shooting, picking up items, and crashing, but it doesn’t have much other than the bare essentials.
At the end of the day, I can’t really recommend Hot Rod Racer. I just simply didn’t have a fun time with it. Arcade centric games have never appealed to me much and the art direction on this one makes it even less approachable. Even the paltry $2.99 price tag for this is far too much. I urge putting it towards a longer lasting, more rewarding experience instead.
Review Copy Provided by ZeNfA Productions.
Summary: There isn't much reason to continue playing this game after the first 5 minutes. Even the incentive to collect all the unlockables sadly isn't enough.