MY 1980S DASHBOARD (yes in all caps) is an 80s style, bare bones beat the clock driving game. It has with fluid, but dull driving wrapped in the gimmick of an 80s dashboard toy with a steering wheel. It’s an interesting idea that will draw into nostalgia, but as a game its a bit rough. Your fuel is your time to complete an entire track with no checkpoints. Beyond nostalgia, there are ugly colors, generic backgrounds, a single tire screeching sound effect and the game never tells you how many laps you need, just how many you’ve done. I am thankful the game can get played outside of the toy view, but even in full screen, there is a black box around the edges of the screen. It all hinders the enjoyment of even a cheap game with potential.
Its plagued with first game issues, because the developer seems to have used open source code and modified it into the final product. The game can freeze or stutter when cars behind you move in front of you. This is a common issue at the start of a race as you’re starting from a stopped position.
Ramming vehicles or things on the side of the road will bring you to a dead stop, rather than a cool explosion or car flip. Again, this is trying to use the gimmick of a toy rather than a video game. For everything you hit, you lose fuel. Even after an hour of playing, I never understood how much fuel you lost. Nor did I understand how many laps you needed to finish. Somewhere around 2.5 laps. Having a track view would have been nice.
There was no explanation of the score either. The score only matters when you complete the game, because there’s a Steam leader board, but it’s only found outside of the game. Having it in the game would have been nice. Controller support would have been great too.
For a game that uses some great chiptunes, it has a more realistic screeching tire sound. There is no variation to this sound and you will hear it every so often over the hour it takes to finish the game. A smaller screeching sound could have been used to better portray the loss of traction. Having it match the sound of the era would have been great too. Having full screen take up the full screen would have been great. There are so many missed opportunities with this game. Better colors, better environments that would make races feel different. My 1980s Dashboard is a bare bones racing game.
There is a reason why its such a cheap game, because it turns into the canned dog food of 80s style racing games. There are too many tracks with little to no variety. There are so many tracks and they’re so dull, it feels like they may as well be procedural generation. The later races start to remix some of the roadside objects, so yellow or red ground has stones with green grass around them.
The game’s idea of increasing difficulty is having more vehicles on the road. You’ll get to see two lanes fit five vehicles. Then again, is it two lanes if it can fit five vehicles side by side? The vehicles travel at different speeds too, so if a car traveling too fast slams into a truck, the car immediately appears to the side of the truck. Zero thought was put into the movement or the lanes. There are other games that do it better.
It was a struggle to make it through how dull this was, but I feared turning it off. It didn’t seem like a game that would save your progress. It’s worth a risk to play for the cheap price and I do wish there were more 80s and early 90s style racers out there.