Ultimate Racing 2D is out now and it’s been a while since I played a top-down 2D racer, hence why I jumped at the chance of this for review when offered. The younger me used to love sitting down playing Micro Machines and Skidmarks on the Amiga, or Grand Prix Sim and BMX Sim on the C64. I do enjoy Toybox Turbos also, amongst others, which I have played a few year back. There does seem to be a bit of a void when it comes to top down or isometric racing titles that truly stand out.
Applimazing released Ultimate Racing 2D on Steam, in May 2018, and it’s nice to see it released on the Xbox consoles in time for Christmas.
So what we have is a fully-fleshed-out top-down racing game. You are looking at 35 classes of vehicles ranging from Go Carts, Quads, F1, Touring Cars and including the likes of Limousines, Fork Lifts and Tractors. There are over 300 cars to unlock in total, so plenty to be getting on with! The handling is different on each and every one of them which is definitely something that makes this game stand out.
On top of the huge variety of cars you have a multitude of different tracks for each class, totalling around 45 tracks, and set around different places in the world. The majority of tracks are tarmac racing round stadiums, much like what you would see during an F1 race. However, there are a few dirt tracks I have played on which make handling and drifting completely different to the normal tracks.
You have a few different game modes available to you from the off. There’s Championship with 2 different options, where you either have to place in a certain position or higher to progress to the next race and a new vehicle, or where you have to place and make money to be able to buy a decent enough car to be able to place high enough to progress to the next race. Out of the two, I prefer playing the version where you just have to place to get further, as I find the making money quite tedious, having to redo races, and finishing late in the standings to be able to get enough money together to buy a decent car.
Multiplayer incorporates online which has 20 players and can be chaos at times, plus local multiplayer for up to 6 players to get together on your couch and go head-to-head.
There are plenty options you can change to fine tune your experience, such as lowering the difficulty right down, adjusting steering sensitivity and so on. I changed the control to the D-Pad on my controller to see how it played, with loving the old games mentioned at the start!
I have to admit, though, I struggled to really get into this. Initially, it is really hard until you perfect your control and can zip around the tracks. There is also a considerable grind to get the better cars, and without said cars you have no chance of placing above 5 or so in the rankings even on lowest difficulty.
Visually, the game is really nice, but the tracks are always stadium-based and there is no weather which I would have loved to see. It just feels like it is lacking a bit of variation, at times. Another gripe is that I feel the tracks are quite narrow which makes things really difficult when trying to overtake AI cars which are nigh-on perfect and make no mistakes. Not forgetting playing through the championship modes, you are looking at a total of 20 cars on the track, so 2 laps on in the earlier stages can make it nigh-on impossible to get a place in the top ten.
Overall, however, Ultimate Racing 2D is a decent racer – and enjoyable when you fancy something a bit different to play, given you don’t get many decent top-down racers, now.
Ultimate Racing 2D is out now on Xbox One and Steam/PC.
- Developer: Applimazing
- Publisher: Applimazing
- Players: Single Player, Couch Co-Op & Multiplayer
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!