Get your racing on with Lucky Mountain’s love letter to classic racing games.
Racing Apex had been on the radar of Finger Guns for a while now. Ever since we saw the first trailer we had it on our list of games we wanted to play immediately. Its retro aesthetic gave the game stylistic points right off the starting line and we were awaiting when we could get our hands on it. Fortunately, the game appeared in pre-alpha stage at EGX and I’m happy to report it’s feeling really rather good.
Sitting down to play I had an almost instant flash back to when I booted up Daytona USA for the first time on my SEGA Saturn, of all things. The feeling of nostalgia is almost instant, the blocky cars and the delightful use of colour pops off the screen and takes you back to a different time, allowing you engage in the simple task of just getting your car around the track without having to worry about the explicit details that surround it. In terms of presentation, Racing Apex looks terrific.
We were fortunate enough to play a couple of races, the first of which I failed quite miserably at. The cars control with a serious focus on cornering (hence the title, one would imagine) and at first, it can feel like you’re very easily spinning out of control. I was given the warning before it started to take the corners a little easier, advice I took very seriously. Possibly too seriously, as I was trailing pretty far behind taking the corners slightly slower than I probably should have done. In my second race, which I played with representatives of the game, I took the corners somewhat faster and made up some better time (same car, same track) and I was able to actually get on the board, even if the reps smashed my time seemingly without even trying. I wanted to take the time to get used to the movement of the car and well, that’s my excuse anyway. I probably took the whole thing a little too easy, and as such, finished last. BUT, I did finish, and I wanted to count that as a win in my book.
I probably needed a bit more time to get used to the handling, there was a moment where I swerved completely out of control and ended up going the wrong way for a split second before the game reminded me of where the hell I was actually meant to be going. Forward, it turns out.
Racing Apex is still in early stages, despite this, it felt and looked pretty solid, at least in my playthrough. The visuals are a genuine delight and I didn’t notice any signs of bugs, even though I was warned there may be some here and there. The handling was a little unforgiving but it’s something that can easily be worked on through practice. There’s nothing I can really fault about my experience, it’s exactly what I wanted it to be. Bright and challenging with a nice nod to an era of racing games long gone.
I’m ready for full release, which is due next year.