Twists, turns and thrills await you in this slot car racing simulator, but remember with great speed comes greater risks, manage your speed well and stick to the track, go too overboard and you’ll spin off course. Choose 1 of 20 vehicles and race against four other vehicles on 20 tracks spanning three championship levels in novice, advanced and pro along with the extra tracks section. There’s no real narrative, you literally just choose a championship, select the course and go.
There’s one key control mechanic being the speed slider which you control using your finger, or thumb, or nose, if that’s something that interests you. Forethought will be needed as higher speeds will mean you risk coming off the course at corners and turns, so planning ahead is a must, knowing the track and focusing on when to slow down in order to keep to the road, hopefully your AI enemies won’t be so lucky. You have the luxury of being able to choose from three camera views, those being top, racer and perspective and each offer a unique experience, switching to racer which is the third person over-the-shoulder style view has you follow the vehicle from behind and you feel the acceleration and torque considerably more than following the vehicle from a top down angle.
Car customisation is what sets some racing games above the others, being able to adjust the performance of your car in hopes to further yourself on the track. Unfortunately there really isn’t much choice when it comes to tuning your automobile, choosing only the engine, chassis and wheel each boasting just six options including the stock one’s already installed. Not to mention that when you complete each championship you unlock a car that has greater specs which you cannot tune than the vehicles you can purchase and then upgrade. So in reality the game shoots itself in the foot, you can complete the game without having to grind and get the funds to buy the better parts.
A great addition to HTR+ is track editor, which offers you the opportunity to create your own tracks featuring 20 course pieces that include loops, jumps and ramps, however some of the options are basically just the inverted option of another piece, meaning turning left and then turning right count as two different pieces. This cuts down the initial thought of ‘oh wow there’s quite a lot to choose from’ right down to ‘well I guess this will do’.
HTR+ certainly wont be getting any award for the visual fidelity, on the other hand however it’s certainly not an ugly duckling, in fact there is a surprising amount of detail in the textures, ranging from the trees and ground, to the set pieces and surroundings. That isn’t to say there aren’t inconsistencies when it comes to the graphics, some trees you can are two flat images criss-crossed to create the illusion of being full and thick. The soundtrack itself is certainly a little cliché and generic to the genre, pop and club style which becomes stale quickly as all the music tracks are on a loop.
The championship races do understandably become more challenging with each tier however I found with using the vehicle I unlocked from the previous tier, I wasn’t at such a disadvantage if at all. You will then have to rely on skill and luck to win, you aren’t the only one who can spin off the track, but sometimes it does seem it’s only you, watch your corners and keep and eye out for the other vehicles.
Upon completion of the main championship races and extra tracks there is still another game mode you can try your hand out at, which is offered from the get go, and that is ghost mode. In essence, ghost mode is a beat the best time challenge, racing a ‘ghost’ car on all the same tracks you have experienced previously in hopes to beat the best time. I will admit I have tried so much to beat these times and could only conquer the one, you will need to put in a lot of time to get the best parts possible in hopes to beat the ‘ghost’.
HTR+ Slot Car Simulation is fun, easy to look at and features moderate depth. There are multiple modes to choose from and allows you to create even more content with the track editor. It will take you some time to unlock all the vehicles and parts for customisation but if you can deal with the repetitive soundtrack and grinding the same courses your all set.
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