19 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 5.3 hrs on record
Posted: Nov 3, 2019 @ 8:58am
Updated: Nov 3, 2019 @ 9:20am
Product received for free

Follow our curator page: IndieGems if you like and want to see more reviews like this one.

Xenon Racer is a fun arcade racer that has beautiful visuals and provides the player with some exciting vehicle speeds, and it is ideal for the people who always wanted to play a high-speed racer without worrying too much about the mechanics of car handling and turning. For the player looking for the next realistic racing simulator, this is not it.

With the inherent difficulty of traditional racing games removed, this game focuses on pure speed in order to provide the thrill for the player. In order to take corners in this game, the player has two options, hit the brakes and turn like you still live in 2019 or push the drifting ability of these super cars to the limit and feel like you are taking that corner attached to a rope.

The controls in this game are very easy, aside from steering, there are only the gas and brake buttons, one for the handbrake, and one more for boost. I realize that a lot of simplistic racers have not much more than this. This feels simpler, probably because of the fact that the game's environment is flying by and you are only worried about making sure that you are taking those corners while pushing the speed as high as possible. Or maybe it's because there's no other way to play this game other than in full throttle.

There are offline and online modes, there's local split-screen mode as well. There is a campaign and quick race options, and there are many customization options for your vehicle. Most of the customization options are unlocked just by playing the game and spending time with it.

I am worried about the future of this game, likely because most people want a more in-depth game at the asking price of $29.99, and this game is lacking in that respect. Even though there is a large number of tracks and you unlock a lot of different locations, each with unique tracks and beautiful scenery, the actual feel of the tracks have little variance. If there are distinct location-based special modifications to the tracks that actually affect gameplay, this game would be much more interesting and appealing. However, the unique feel stops at the environmental modeling, so no matter which track you are playing, you have similar expectations from the last. The game encourages you to also play in online multiplayer mode, but I was unable to find anyone else participating in any lobby when I checked it out, so I played against the AI in that mode anyway.

Speed, speed, and more speed with simplified turning does mean that people who wanted to play racing games but always had trouble with steering should find this game to be more accessible. You will under-steer if you go into any corner even locking your wheels as far as possible, but letting go of the throttle briefly and holding it down again going into any turn is the best way to take most corners. Occasionally you will be going too fast and need to actually slow down before heading into a drift around really sharp corners, but these are fairly rare, as the tracks are quite wide throughout.

Another simplified racing mechanic is that your car has an overall health bar that is slowly reduced by percentage, and after it's 100% damaged, it self-repairs, and your car gets placed to the middle of the track to keep going. You lose your speed, a few seconds, and if you were not dead last, expect AI opponents to go on by you.

If you do decide to pick up this game, keep your mind open to the fact that this game doesn't try to capture any realistic racing simulation mechanics. Please keep in mind, also, that this game is an indie project and doesn't have the same kind of budget, team, or experience as the folks over at Codemasters. I think for an indie project, this game has shown plenty of good. The problem right now is the lack of an online player base, which I do think that more interesting tracks could help.

Controls
Controller recommended.

Graphics
Quite well-made, and lots of unique location-specific environmental models that makes each locations very pretty to look at.

Music
Very upbeat and high-paced, very fitting for this game looking to give the player maximal racing speeds.

Audience
Easy to learn and is accessible to most players, but for people who are hardcore racing enthusiasts, this game might be not too much fun. For people looking for a couple of quick races a few minutes each at fast speeds with easy handling and low stress, this definitely qualifies to be in the selection.

Pricing
As mentioned above, the asking price is a bit high and this in turn has caused for a fairly low player-base. With the lack of complexity of driving technique needed going from track to track, the price is a bit hard to justify.

Positives
+Speed, speed, and more speed
+Easy to handle
+Thrilling
+Beautiful environment graphics
+Many car customization options to be unlocked
+Quite fun if you approach it with an open mind

Negatives
-Better variability on the tracks, maybe obstacles or changing terrain that affects the driving would be welcome improvements
-Computer AI all drive slowly to begin but speedup later in the race. It just doesn't always make sense.
-Lack of an online player base
-Priced a bit high

Conclusion
Xenon Racer is a fun high-speed racer with a heavy arcade feel. The controls are easy to get used to and it offers good thrilling fun in shorter sittings. The game is beautiful to look at for an indie project and is to be commended. Lack of variety in rhythm and feel of the individual tracks and its higher price will detract most potential players. Definitely check it out and support some indie developers when the game is on sale.

Overall score: 7/10

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny Award