Game Review #445: #RaceDieRun (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: John B. Developer: Atomic Raccoon Studio Publisher: QubicGames Category: Arcade, Racing Release Date: 8.9.19 Price: $9.99
Race in the Sense of Going Fast
RaceDieRun for the Nintendo Switch is a fast-paced obstacle course arcade racer that sees you tearing along its tracks as fast as you can without hitting one of the many, many, obstacles it has in store for you. The controls are fairly simple; you control your car with the left thumbstick, you hit the A button to dash, and you can hit the left or right buttons to barrel roll left or right. The game refers to it as a dash rather than a barrel roll, but I know a barrel roll when I see one, and I heard Peppy’s voice every time I hit one of those buttons. You use these commands to race through 60 levels (and 15 bonus stages, so I guess 75 levels) of fast-paced, anger-inducing, rage-quitting madness in the hopes of seeing your name on the game’s leaderboards.
Die is the Most Important Word in the Title
The tracks aren’t very long; they’re pretty much all designed to be run in less than half a minute if you do things correctly. And that’s where things get muddy; RaceDieRun is all about a quick, accurate reaction time, which is something I have learned that I simply don’t possess. As a result, I was dying dozens of times before I could finish tracks, which was hugely frustrating. When you die, the game taunts you with quotes from Bruce Lee, which doesn’t really take the sting away. This is a game explicitly designed for people who like a focused, supremely challenging experience that will test their dexterity and quick-twitch skills to the limit.
Run Up The Score
The game doesn’t offer you much in the way of encouragement; either you get it done or you don’t. The most tangible reward for finishing a track is seeing your place on the leaderboards. Additionally, each track has a set of accomplishments that goes with it. The game keeps track of when you finish a level by boosting for 100% of its duration, for not using any dashes, for getting a grade of SS for your completion time, and whether or not you collected the green capsule. The capsules are usually in a ridiculously hard to reach spot, and just getting the capsule doesn’t unlock the achievement; you have to get the capsule and finish the race. It adds a nice layer of replayability for anyone who likes to spend the time to 100% a game.
Burning Up The Tracks
Graphically, RaceDieRun is fairly simple but still attractive. The 3-D graphics aren’t quite what you’d see in, say, a triple-A release from a major studio, but everything is clean and nicely defined. The ship you control, as well as the tracks you’re racing through, are always sharply rendered with very little in the way of jagged, pixelated edges. It even holds up on the Switch’s handheld mode, which is always a nice bonus. The music is comprised of fast-paced electronic tracks that fit the game’s design aesthetic and the pace of the gameplay well.
I Raced, I Died, The Game Ran Well
From top to bottom, RaceDieRun is well-designed. The gameplay is fast and furious, sure to scratch the itch for all you speed demons out there. The graphics are smooth and crisp whether you’re playing docked or undocked, so all you a-Switch-ionados out there can enjoy the game whichever way you prefer to play your Switch. The difficulty level is fairly high, however, so make sure you’re ready for a challenge before you pick this one up. It may also disappoint players who like a little variety in their gameplay, since there really isn’t much to be found. If you prefer a story or any kind of customization in your racing games, you won’t find that here. The game is about going fast and not dying – or, in my case, going fast and dying a bunch.
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*A game code was provided for review purposes