It’s not often that you come across a game that can be played with just two-buttons, but that’s all you need in Little Racer: the new release from developer The Knights of Unity that offers a simple yet fun racing experience that can be enjoyed by up to four-players.
The best thing to compare Little Racer to would be Scalextric; you know, the slot car racing sets where you race on two lanes and have to control your speed as you hit bends in order to prevent yourself from crashing off-track. Well, that’s pretty much what you’ll do here, except there’ll be four cars racing and you also have the ability to swap lanes freely.
The left shoulder button controls your speed and the right shoulder button allows you to swap lanes on the track. If you hit a bend at too fast a speed, you’ll launch off of it and will lose precious seconds as the game respawns you on track. Fortunately, Little Racer makes it clear when you’re going particularly fast thanks to the flames that appear at the back of your car, so it’s a good sign as to when you’ll want to hold off the accelerator a bit.
The thing is, sometimes you’ll need to be going at a high speed – besides the fact that you’re racing against others who’re out to beat you, there are also jumps to hit that if you go too slow at will see you fall short of the other end. It’s all about observing the track and balancing out your speed, with the player having to consistently dip on and off of the accelerator if they want to succeed.
Unfortunately, there are other hazards that can cause you some problems whilst racing. You can expect to see the likes of barrels, puddles, wandering chickens, and aggressive yetis appear on the track, forcing you to quickly switch lanes before they cause a crash. Worst of all, lane-swapping at the wrong time or the wrong speeds can also cause you to crash, so like every other aspect of Little Racer you’ll need to think ahead and react carefully to anything that comes your way. Admittedly, this can be a little difficult when playing on the Nintendo Switch’s portable mode thanks to the small screen, especially on the larger tracks – for the most part though Little Racer is ideal to pick up and play on the go.
It all comes together to make for a really enjoyable experience. Sure, Little Racer can keep things very simple with its two-button approach, but between the focus on speed control and avoiding hazards it can really make for a thrilling time. It might start off easy and you’ll breeze through a lot of early races, but it doesn’t take long for a satisfying demand for strategy and precision to come in – it’s a lot of fun. You’ll also unlock plenty of new tracks and new cars, so there’s quite a lot to stick your teeth into.
If you do tire of the in-game offering off tracks, you’ll be pleased to see that there’s a surprisingly flexible track editor available for you to make your own topsy-turvy creations. You’ll have access to plenty of different road types, whilst there are also ten different environments to unlock and use that offer their own little features to play around with – it’s a little disappointing that you can’t use the touch screen controls of the Nintendo Switch to create these tracks, though the controls are intuitive enough that you shouldn’t struggle too much anyway. It means that you’ve essentially got infinite options as far as tracks are concerned in Little Racer, so you’ll never run out of ways to race against the AI or in local multiplayer with friends.
It’s in local multiplayer where Little Racer really shines. Up to four-players can race together, and the quick-paced and simple nature of the game can make for some exciting showdowns. Between the demand for speed, all of the hazards, and the zany tracks on offer, you’re guaranteed to have plenty of laughs as you race with friends – there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing one of them get a little cocky and blast off the track, giving you the chance to pip them to victory over the final bend. It might not have the depth of other multiplayer racers like Mario Kart or Crash Team Racing, but sometimes all you need is something simple to have a lot of fun.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had with Little Racer, with the simple mechanics and focus on controlling speed making for some exciting racing showdowns on-track – particularly when facing off against three friends in multiplayer. You can also create your own tracks too, allowing you to compete with others across your own insane creations.
It’s not the most in-depth racer you’ll ever play and it can be a little limited as far as game modes are concerned, but if you’re looking for a fun little title that’s easy to pick up and play with friends, you wouldn’t go wrong by giving Little Racer a try.
Developer: The Knights of Unity
Publisher: All in! Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch