As many of you have seen I spent September playing racing games that were randomly chosen from Steam as keyword “racing.” I chose these because I had never played them and may never without having a sudden lust for racing. These games are all around 1 GB or under and I have my Top 10 Best Racing Games of Race-tember. Now its time for the worst that I played. After spending a month in racing games, by the end, I opened some, played for a minute and thought, nope then closed them to find something else.
With such a shallow pool of twenty-two games on the list its easy to make this top ten worst racing games. I hold no malice, hatred or ill will to any of the developers on this list and if anything its extra publicity from someone that can give it a fair review.
#11 Racer 8 (puzzle)
I feel like Racer 8 should sit alone on its own sort of list. The name “Racer 8” may fool you into thinking its a racing game and even Steam puts it into the racing genre. Its a tile flipping puzzle game with a racing theme. That alone warrants it to be off the list, but the problem is there are so many issues that I had even with the menu that it deserves to be on the list. The game tells me I need more cash to buy something even if I have more than enough. There are issues with the scroll bars that prevent them from scrolling. The game is cumbersome to use its camera to see behind trees when a transparency would have taken away the need to pan the camera. There’s a throttle, but using it takes your eyes off the puzzle itself. Its just a frustrating distraction.
#10 Little Racers Street (traditional or overhead)
I like the game, but as an overhead racer its bad. Since you’re racing on city streets, the tall buildings can obscure your view. Even with a highlight option in the settings, it may highlight your vehicle, but the road is obscured as are the other drivers. It has various camera angles from overhead, but constantly rotating them is a chore too and buildings can still block your line of sight. The person that decided to have a chase camera should be given a medal for the game’s saving grace. The game also has a few hundred brief tracks that make it a quantity over quality sort of situation.
#9 Crazy Taxi (traditional)
I’ve played this on several different platforms. I understand that its beloved by everyone, but I just dislike it because there’s little substance in favor of attitude and flair. Even with drifting and catching bit air for money the game feels hollow. Its an arcade game though, so it should be a sort of quick thrill, pump your quarters in. The Steam version has the same two big cities that the Dreamcast has, but your only choices for playing are ten minutes or less before you get cut off. Then you need to start over again. The lack of modernization also got in the way of my enjoyment. This is a game that can greatly benefit from having full camera control. I found plenty of blind turns where I’d turn and get hit by oncoming traffic. With traditional racers that have no traffic, this is never an issue.
#8 Fireburst (traditional car combat)
Well it was also on the top 10 of best racers, yet it finds itself here on the bottom half. Its the mechanic that makes it one of the worst for this month. Constant explosions due to overheating, but that’s the nature of car combat. You kill and you die its that simple, but with Fireburst your weapons and boost cost you your health while water restores you. Its a good mechanic in theory, but it was just difficult to stay alive in some areas. Its more than that, because if you hit a wall too fast you explode which yes is very realistic, but then there are some times where I’d nudge a wall and explode. Other times I’d be hooked in the wall itself unable to move. At its best, its still a great, gorgeous game, but at its worst, its a frustrating mess.
#7 Jet Car Stunts (traditional)
Why race when you can beat the clock? This is a trial and error game for the most part. Sure the easy courses are fun to a point, but when you start needing to gauge how much nitro you use in order to cross a jump and the ability to over jump and need to air brake it becomes a bit tedious. Explode, start at the last checkpoint. Miss a jump, start at the last checkpoint. With the forward, reverse, boost and air brake it feels like there are two forwards and two brakes only one of the brakes will reverse you while the other halts you. Jet Car Stunts is also missing a lot of frills that other games have such as additional cars.
#6 Race the Sun (runner)
I like the game, but there should be more to it. This is a mobile game that relies on daily tracks to keep your interest with no campaign other than what you make with the track designer or download from the Steam workshop. I used to create a lot of things, but now I feel like I should be playing rather than working to even play the game. Its also a game that hits you in the face with paid DLC and a soundtrack to buy at the beginning of the game. To think this was a kickstarter game. There are even playable credits to see them all, but the problem is its a big vacant space with no challenge, so rather than having a fresh course its just how much can you stomach before you get bored and stop rolling the credits? The other flaw with it is that its simple, too simple and also relies on a grind mechanic to level up and get new abilities.
#5 Real World Racing (overhead)
Real World Racing a bland racer that I was genuinely excited for when I saw the two trailers. One was a cinematic, the other was a bunch of sleek menus with great looking car models. What I failed to notice was that it was a top down racer. There’s nothing wrong with that, but using real world maps obscures some of the track with tunnels. A few courses had some sort of frame skip as well. The are difficult to navigate with a controller and the game itself feels like it relies more on car stats to win a race rather than skill. Real World Racing is dull and monotonous on concrete.
#4 World Truck Racing (traditional)
I like big trucks. I was excited knowing that I’d be racing semis. The downside is that I was always winning. I’d be stuck alone for minutes at a time just waiting for each race to end. There’s no fanfare at the end. No one cares that you just won a race, in fact the race keeps going then just stops a few seconds across the finish line. For a racing game everything is slow, but I guess you are driving a giant vehicle meant for hauling cargo. When I ram the other trucks, it does nothing to move them or spin them out. World Truck Racing plays well, but its just dull.
#3 Farm Machines Championship 2014 (traditional)
I wanted to like this one as a farm boy, but there’s just a lot of lawn mowing events that feel mundane and unskilled. There’s still racing and it feels relaxing driving the giant machines hauling trailers waving to the crowd of a dozen people as you drive by. After that its event after event of lawn mowing, hay bailing,hay sweeping, driving between posts and so on. I was wrong to expect so much from this game, but at the thought of having a career mode it was just a letdown. The game has a few issues as well, such as three of the four panels of your trailer are one color and the fourth is its own. Its a dull experience that claims to have controller support, but other than driving, you need a keyboard for other mandatory things.
#2 Taxi (traditional)
Taxi lets you run a taxi service, well that is if you can follow the game’s rules and avoid infractions. You’ll be lucky to make any profit even when you drive perfect. There are plenty of glitches, such as the fuel consumption and cab cleanliness seem to be backward. I can drive for a full 36 hours before my cab runs on empty. The game even lets you drive that long without a brake or coffee. Speaking of breaks, I came across a few glitches such as ones that prevented me from completing a mission which locked me inside the game. The GPS works from where you start rather than where you are. Its a laundry list of problems and you’ll be stuck in a cab long before you get any sense of owning a service and managing a roster of other drivers.
#1 Rage Runner (runner)
I had no doubts and I’m sure the developer had no doubts about this anomaly of a game. Well that is several games rolled up into one with two completely different games sewn together. Games so different they have different menus. Each of the two major games has its own mini games, one of which is a Super Mario Bros game with guns and no fun. Its tough to jump a gap let alone make it to the end. There’s a directional pad shooter with extremely limited ammunition. If you run out, you need to dismount your turret and collect more ammunition, but there’s limited ammo for the turret and well its just easier to shoot enemies with your handgun.
Oh here I am talking about the frills. The game itself is like flying a Batwing down a corridor. The game has plenty of levels that breaks its own rules from course to course. There’s a level editor with some ugly text as its menu. The game feels raw, unpolished and just shoved onto Steam. Even the core game of a never ending runner in your fixed wing flier feels easy enough to fly, dodge and boost past boulders flying between tubes. Its obvious this is the developer’s first game, but there are just so many games in one. Just pour all of your effort into one game.