Retro gaming has a huge audience, and one that game developers are always trying to tap into.
The success rate can be hit and miss, and when you add in the ever-competitive racing scene there is a very fine line between success and failure.
Trying to fall the right side of that line is Hotshot Racing.
A jolt of adrenaline
Whether its a hardcore sim like iRacing or a family-friendly experience like Mario Kart, the first job of a racing game is to be fun, and that's what Hotshot Racing absolutely nails.
Each race is sharp rush of energy that quickly has you leaning forward and pushing the throttle as hard as you can.
DRIFTING INTO TROUBLE: Get it right to earn boost, but get it wrong and taste the wall
The simple concept of using an easy-to-manage drifting mechanic with slipstreams to build up boosts is something everyone can grasp.
Hotshot Racing uses a countdown and checkpoints within lap races to add that old arcade feel of desperation to make the next point so you can keep playing.
Tracks are simple and yet mastering their flow will have any racer on edge.
It also has plenty of game modes. From your classic four-race championship to a cops & robbers mode that encourages contact and crashes. All of these are available in multiplayer, including split-screen!
Characters & cars
There are eight characters to choose from, and each one has four cars to choose between.
I RECOGNISE YOU: There are several familiar cars in Hotshot Racing
Alexa (USA), Aston (UK), Xing (China), Keiko (Japan), Marcus (Jamaica), Viktor (Russia), Mike (USA), and Toshiro (Japan) all bring their own style and personality to the race. You'll hear a few comments from them during your race, and their cars are all recogniseable, if not named officially.
VICTORY: Top the podium in Grand Prix and be a true Hotshot!
From the McLaren F1 to the Ford GT40 and even a single-seater, there is a lot to choose from.
Hotshot Racing's replay factor is not high for single-player which is a shame. There's no career or story to be had if racing by yourself. However, that is entirely by design and really the only downside to the game.
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As a couch co-op game and an online racer with friends it is brilliant. The chaotic nature of the racing means there is a minimal skill-gap, while any AI cars racing are not afraid of contact which adds some spice to the mix.
Hotshot Racing is a blast.
IN THE HOT SEAT: Jump into the car and feel the speed
It's a wild ride that is different across each track and car. It's a game with bags of personality that really makes you smile.
It gives seasoned players that classic, retro feel while being highly accessible for new and young players.
It's also got a terrific price point of £15.99 which makes it all the better for a family game. Even better, it is on Xbox Game Pass from launch (10 September).
Hotshot Racing is a winner with us.
RealSport Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
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