The DrunkPunk Reviews: Race For Your Life
"Race! Stay alive and win! This cross platform game is online realtime, async and local multiplayer! Take the control of the super cars, machines developed to win! But be smart because the other player has the same technology and will not want to stay behind!"
Start your engines!
Race For Your Life (RFYL) is an up to 4 player, local and online, top-down racing game controlled with one joystick and a boost button. After firing the game up, you will be hit by a wave of nostalgia (if you're an oldish fart like me) induced by the chiptune-y music and the graphics style. The gameplay threw me back to playing Off Road, Super Off Road and the early Micro Machines racing games; albeit with a simpler premise. Point here is to beat everyone else to the finish line after three laps. No fancy power-ups, no vehicle enhancements, no bullshit. The K.I.S.S. principle is strong with this one though, and you will soon find that all the frills are not necessary after you look up at the clock and see that you've been playing for an hour!
Racing with more than a left turn?
You've got 3 modes to choose from: Online, Local and Challenge. These are all pretty self explanatory but I'll break it down anyway because that's my job!
- Online is where up to 4 but no less than 2 people can pit themselves against one another across every platform from anywhere in the world. The matchmaking happens fast and easy with a minimal lobby system and the ability for anyone connected to start the race. Tracks are selected at random from the 7 total tracks and after the 3 second countdown you're off! The only downside here is that if everyone doesn't have a good connection there will be lag. Sometimes a significant amount of lag in the other players' car, and you will be ahead one second only to suddenly have your opponent jump far ahead of you. The game handles it well though, so if you focus solely on your car (yeah...good luck with that) it won't really affect you much.
- Local is your standard couch gaming fare. Trash talk your, up to 4 but no less than 2, friends and get ready to be punched for saving your boost until the last second for that beautiful finish. The game works with nearly every type of controller, so anything you've got hooked up to your OUYA will work and work well.
- Challenge is another online mode which is basically a race-by-post style board. Here you can race for your best time on a track and post it online for others to challenge. Very cool concept and I was surprised (also happy!) to find it in such a "retro" game.
The tracks vary from the traditional left turn only rectangle to a nighttime tracks, with some nifty lighting, a rain-drenched track and a winter themed tracks aptly named 'Christmas'. Some of the tracks are so twisty and turn-y, also with under/over passes, that you can take advantage of the car collision mechanic and scrub your fellow racers against the wall. Of course, staying on the inside of turns is always a good idea, but every now and then you'll find it working against you when your opponent decides to ram your car into the wall (I'm looking at you Isaac) and deplete it's "life". Even a little push here and there into the cones or any other barrier can add up and cause everyone to make a mad dash through the pit area. There are lots of little touches to the game that make it a treat to look at other than just racing, for instance: a Zelda-esque character battling in the middle of the race green, a nice rain effect, "Santa" hopping around the wintry track, various characters capering about and other things to distract you from winning. Great polish on this game!
The only real noticeable flaw here is the hit detection for the walls. While it can lead to fits of laughter, it's mostly just frustrating. It makes hugging the wall nearly impossible and sometimes forces you to be overly cautious for fear of a spin-out. It would be less of a problem if it was more consistent and predictable but you will sometimes bash right into the wall with no ill effect and sometimes when you lightly brush it you will start wheeling around. Annoying.
RFYL has now become my favorite racing game on the OUYA. No gimmick, quick fire racing is always good and the fast online matchmaking, with the race-by-post Challenge mode, is icing on the cake. The draw is immediate after your first 4 player match and the utter chaos that ensues. With a very generous demo and a price of $1.99, it's a steal of a deal if you're looking for racing fun!
Last edited by DrunkPunk; 06-05-2015 at 07:10 AM.