PixelJunk Racers Impressions

A new PSN game popped up with the rest of the massive content update today (including several demos and other PSN title, Poker). PixelJunk Racers isn’t so much a racing game as it is a test of your hand-eye coordination. So how is it?

Well, it pretty much kicks ass. Great case of such a simple concept working so well. It has, I believe, 32 different “modes” which can be played for trophies in a solo tourney (this is necessary to unlock more of the modes), in a single quick race, or in “party race” multiplayer mode.

Each mode is predicated on a very simple mechanic: L2/R2 to accelerate and left or right on the digital pad to change lanes (also, triangle to beep your horn). There are tons of dummy cars on the track, a lot like the ones that used to be old F-Zero games, though who you interact with these cars is different for each mini-game.

It’s not a perfect comparison, but it’s something like a downsized, overhead 2D Burnout. There’s an emphasis on high speed, destroying rivals, and “checking” other cars. Hell, there’s one mode called “Death Race” where you zip around the track and run into some black-colored cars. Each one you hit becomes engulfed in blue flames. Essentially, if you run into any car twice (the ones with blue flames), it’ll end your run. It might also be compared to some old favorites like R.C. Pro-AM, Super Off-Road, or Championship Sprint.

PixelJunk Racers

Some of the gold trophies look like they’re going to be kind of tough to get, too. It looks like it’ll be fun to try and get top scores.

The graphics and sound are very clean, if a little simple. The music is quite nice, too.

It’s amazing how they pulled out so much of a basic concept. Q Games, the developer, plans to keep the PixelJunk games brand going with 2-3 games being developed concurrently and only a few months of turnaround before releasing the next one. If they’re this addictive, they could be a valuable asset to PSN!

Check it out in motion.


~ by Cavin Smith on September 13, 2007.

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