(xblig) Little Racers – See ya’ later little racer, after while great big tire…

May06Remember Super Sprint or Championship Sprint? Super Sprint and it’s successor Championship Sprint, were arcade games released in 1986 by Atari Games.  They were cool racing games that were played on a single screen.  You could have up to 3 players racing at the same time.  After 3 laps the winner advances to the next circuit, with 8 circuits in all.  As the player goes to higher levels, more obstacles keep appearing, such as oil puddles, and little tornados.  If the player crashes into a wall, a helicopter comes and replaces the car.  This makes you lose valuable time needed to win.  You can also upgrade your car at the end of each race, by picking up little golden wrenches.  This was the most fun, picking up the wrench before your opponent got it.  I used think the graphics were really high resolution back in the day, don’t know if that was the case, but it seemed so to me.  Championship Sprint, loses one of the drivers, and does different tracks, although the game is pretty much identical.  In any case this was one of the really fun games (and towards my last days at the nickel arcade were actually freeplay).  So it’s with much anticipation that I play Little Racers by Milkstone Studios, that looks like it could fill in the hole that not playing those old arcade games left.

LittleRacerSS01 So how do we play Little Racers?  After choosing “Start a New Game” You have to sign in with every profile until the desired players are marked green.  That is if you’re doing multiplayer.  Single player is already signed in.  Then you choose a track and number of laps, and restrict the car classes that can be chosen.  Then the player(s) can choose a car.  Each car has different characteristics such as max speed, acceleration, handling and so forth.  You can also select the colors of the car.  Car classes go from A (best), to G (worst) and the S for special cars.  Really what it comes down to is G is the easiest to control, at least until you’re an expert player, and even then I don’t know if A would be best to choose.  But you can figure that out on your own.  Of course to win the race you need to be the fastest time with the number of laps.  To control the car use right trigger or ‘X’ to accelerate, left trigger or y to brake, and the left thumb stick to turn.  Okay now let’s describe the interface.

LittleRacerSS02 In the car selection screen the car characteristics are shown as a little meter and icons.  I would have preferred it to have listed these in texts, as there seems to be ample room on screen to make a larger bar chart, and it’s hard to tell what each are used for.  The controls on the car selection screen, however, are self-explanatory.  Okay as described earlier, right trigger to accelerate, left trigger to brake.  The track is shown from an overhead view like the above mentioned ‘Sprint’ games.  If you start going the wrong way a little red circle with a white x in it will show up.  Lap time and place are shown in the upper left corner of the screen.  You can tell your car from the others by the fact that the other cars are either different colors or in the case of AI’s the cars are actually darker than your car.  While the controls seem simple, it still seems a bit difficult to control the car with the thumb sick.  Well next we’ll dive in to a race and see how I do at playing the game.

LittleRacerSS03Well I choose a class G car and the easiest in AI opponents.  Also I decided to choose 3 other opponents.  I’m using custom race instead of championship because I need to get used to the game overall.  Let’s try something like 7 laps, which is really a lot but it gives me a chance to “come back” if I happen to be losing.  I’m assuming handicap is for me so I’ll be turning that on as well.  I picked the Hawk car, because I believe it has decent acceleration and handling.  I wasn’t too sure about what characteristics were what though since I didn’t have the help screen before me.  Man that’s a pain to control.  Of course I don’t really think this is a problem with the game as a lot of racing games have problems using the controller, unless you’re playing something from like the 80’s ;-)  In any case I did manage second place.  Was just getting the hang of things.  I think what you want is a slower acceleration but a higher max speed.  I tended to crash into the walls a lot.  And the brake didn’t help me at all.  It’s actually quite fun, but I think it would be better using an actual steering wheel, you know those special kinds of controllers for racing games.  It’s actually fun though, of course I’m a bit biased, I think I like racing games more than others.  Just so you know though, it can be tricky and difficult, so if you get frustrated easily you might not want to play this game.

LittleRacerSS04Okay so now a note about the graphics.  The graphics are quite good, however also quite dark.  Would have liked to seen more color (like the Sprint games had green grass around the outer edges and each car was a bright color).  It all looks very professional though so that’s a plus.  Presentation is decent.  The sounds are good too, not annoying, and not out of place.  The in-menu music is sort of jazzy maybe almost elevator-like so I didn’t care for it that much, but the in game tracks are pretty good.  In fact I believe you can substitute your own tracks if you want from your xbox 360 hard drive.

Final Analysis:  Fun game, though difficult to control, but with practice it should improve your control.  Nice presentation, graphics and sound.  Loses points (not really doing points but you get the idea) for the car characteristics screen, they could have made it more descriptive.  Pretty sound entry all the way around.  For you car-racing people, you would find this pretty fun especially playing against your friends (or maybe as they say in the UK and/or Australia against your mates).

Name: Little Racers

Developer: Milkstone Studios

Price: 400 MSP / $5.00 USD

Where you can get it: Xbox Live Community Games. on the Xbox 360

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5 Responses to “(xblig) Little Racers – See ya’ later little racer, after while great big tire…”

  1. WaaghMan says:

    Thanks for your review

  2. WaaghMan says:

    Whoops, pressed send by error. Thanks for your review, we’re glad you like the game. We’re working on an update that will feature online mode and also improves overall car handling to reduce a bit the difficulty.

    Your comments about the car attributes on the selection screen are very helpful, we like the bars so they’ll probably stay, but we’ll try to explain better what does each bar mean on the help screens.

  3. […] Uhfgood’s Game Reviews has reviewed Little Racers. You can check it out at the original article […]

  4. Uhfgood says:

    Like I had mentioned above, maybe if you increased the size of the bars and added text labels to them, they would be more readable.

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    To the next! All the best!!

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