I have to admit being a little bit in love with Retro Racing, even at this pre-release stage. A top down racing game in the best tradition of games like Micro Machines and Hot Rod, the game features dinky little Formula One cars zooming around tracks littered with collectables.
The game has a fabulous retro theming to it, looking for all the world like an undiscovered Amiga game. Developed by Qwak creator Jamie Woodhouse, who also had a large hand in classic top-down racer ATR, the game is fantastic to play, with perfectly tuned controls and cars that behave exactly as they should, with just the right level of grip and skid.
We got to play through the Beta version, and we loved every minute of it, and the Game Center integration is very well done. There are a couple of things we would like to see in the final game however. First off, while the game does track your times through the main racing and allows you to compare with friends, a stand alone Time Trial mode, without other cars would be great. Secondly, a main statistics screen for all the tracks with your times and win/loss ratio etc would be nice, and the game would be better served if the tracks were split into small, four race mini championships.
One to add to the ‘Things we would like to see’ list would be a challenge mode. The game has a great system where all the pickups add to your cars stats in-race, so extra speed, better tyres etc. A mode where the developer plays with this concept would be amazing, and you could have a different challenge for each track. For example, how about a timed level where there are dozens of nitros scattered everywhere, or a stage where you only get speed power ups. A track filled with speed sapping cones, or one where all the other cars are maxed out on the speed stat, but you can only collect tyre upgrades.
We do know that there are more cars and tracks in the works for the game, which currently features 12 tracks and a decent selection of cars, all with different stats, although three of them can only be unlocked through a small in-app purchase. The title is also coming to iPad.
As you can see, we are really rather fond of Retro Racing. Maybe it is the great little touches like all the menus reflecting the colour of your last car choice or the great graphical touches in-race, but suffice to say we are really looking forward to playing, and reviewing the final game.