Its a Vice City world out there and you’re into it. Travel back to the late 80s when arcades were still prevalent and put your quarters into a top down arcade-style racer that has you driving through filled streets on your way to stop a burger thief in three exciting levels. Super Renegade Response tries to be that arcade game, even with a keyboard or Ouya support. It asks for coins, it has credits rather than lives and if you put it into a cabinet with a steering wheel and a pedal, no one would notice. When there’s a game over, it asks for more coins.
The game goes a long way to add that 80s cheese in a so bad its good sort of way. The title screen has two non cops with big 80s hair next to a nice looking car. Then in the game you’ll be picking up glowing Rubix cubes, coins and time extending gasoline. You play as a renegade police car that hears a call from dispatch, someone has robbed a burger joint of its … burgers. Then its off to work you go charging forward in your muscled up black Porsche.
The goal of each level is simply to make it to the end, without running out of time. You’ve got unlimited lives, but only three continues. Smashing into another car will respawn you where you were with temporary invulnerability. Its running out of time that uses a continue and forces you to start the level from the beginning. These aren’t long levels, the game is short and sweet, but there is an easy challenge to them. You’ll make it through and memorize where the cars and fuel are.
Boosters are also on the ground, but I don’t feel like they made me go any faster. Driving off road slows you down and its pretty easy to slam into something like a tree, building or light post.
Super Renegade Response has an 80s world feels alive. You’ll drive along the beach, a private jet flies overhead. The Ecto-1 will drive by chasing ghosts. Even oncoming traffic will get out of your way rather than die a horrible death. Of course no one in front of you pulls over to the side, but I assume you’re a renegade and not a real cop. Cops have spike strips out. There are even ramp trucks that you can make some sweet top down jumps over trains and cars. Its a lot of detail that makes the game fun. Billboards so tight on the road that no one can actually see them. Its everything from driving games of the late 80s, but put into top down form.
At the end of each level, you’ll drive off to the next, but its the second and third levels that have combat. Suddenly your vehicle has guns. Well just the one, a single fire bullet to take out tanks that drop mines and burger thieves that throw burgers at you. Its odd that you’re told before the game you can fire, but its not used until later in the game. It made me think I had to collect ammunition, but when you start the game it runs through all of the collectables and ammo isn’t one of them. Instead its your civic duty to only turn your weapons on at thieves, criminals and the army. Fight the power!
The controls are simple, arrow keys to move around and for a while I thought that charging to the top of the screen meant I was going faster, but no it only means that I’d die quicker. So its best to hang out at the bottom to give yourself that much needed time to dodge slow moving vehicles and even cross traffic. Again, the game has a lot of detail to set it apart and make it a joy to play.
Since this is an arcade game, it keeps track of your high score, but you never get to enter your initials or anything like that. The game only seems to count your last credit’s score, because I know that I can get a far better first score than last score.
Any shortcomings the game has like texture quality of the city sidewalks and buildings is negated by everything else in the game. The in game graphics fit that 8-bit retro style. There’s nice use of horribly compressed late 80s voices saying “Super Renegade Response,” “Time Extended” and “Rad” whenever you get a cube. Even the dispatcher’s dialog is fully voiced. If you pause, it keeps going until its finished.
With that being said, the game is short and that’s why its free, but even this small free game makes me believe in the developer. I see what they’re capable of even in fifteen minutes of play. I want that comedy; I want that cheese and I’m not talking about burgers here. It made me want more and this should be a full blown game.