Xbox Live Indie Game fans may remember Little Racers STREET from a year or two ago. The popular XBLIG title has now made its way to Steam with a few additions along the way. Little Racers STREET is a top down view arcade style racing game with a single player career mode and online multiplayer for up to twelve players.
The racing action takes place over two ‘cities’ in which the tracks are created by blocking off road junctions to create a route. Think of it like the routes in games such as Need for Speed. This allows around 60 different tracks to race on, double that if you mirror them. The tracks range from short loop style routes to long ‘tour of half the map’ races. The cities are an urban area with scenery such as buildings and train tracks and the second a more open area with mountains and canyons providing the backdrop. To add some variety there are night and dusk lighting as well as rain and snow weather conditions which affect the vehicles handling. The two cities combined with the number of route permutations (around 200) means you won’t get bored of the tracks too soon.
There are 41 vehicles to choose from, split into classes from E, the slowest, to A being the fastest. The classes are decided by four attributes; Power, Turning, Grip and Nitro. These can be upgraded in the garage, and if you upgrade enough you can even have the vehicle go up a class. The range of vehicles is good, from nimble mini’s and cumbersome buses up to super charged beasts, all of which can be painted and decaled. Depending on the type of race, speed is not always the best, as tracks can be very twisty so choosing a vehicle with lower speed and higher grip can make a massive difference.
The career mode starts you with a small amount of money to buy a low class vehicle and get straight into the race. Depending on the race, you can be up against three to eleven other drivers. Credits are earned depending on the outcome and if you find your opponents too easy you can increase the difficulty to earn a larger reward. The AI is very competitive on the harder difficulties and one or two minor mistakes on the track will punish you. As you complete races your leaderboard ranking changes accordingly, it can be a bit of a grind working your way up the leaderboard and vehicle classes, but there is plenty to do.
The multiplayer mode allows you to host, join or search for a race. A number of options are available if you are hosting a game including a choice of public or private games, number of vehicles and the race length. If you wish to, you can host a game and fill it with AI racers and play until some humans join the start of the next race. Surprisingly, you are unable to choose which track or conditions to race on. I haven’t spent any time playing multiplayer against other humans on the PC as the game had not yet been released on Steam, but I spent a lot of hours playing on the XBLIG version and I can assure you it is immense fun.
The career mode will keep you busy for several hours as you progress through the classes. The multiplayer mode is where the lifespan is, get a few friends involved you can easily spend an evening racing against each other and inventing game modes such as ‘cops and robbers’ with differently painted vehicles and decals. If you enjoy racing games and simply want that arcade fun experience then this is a must buy.
A lengthy career mode with challenging AI if you increase the difficulty. Vehicle handling is spot on. The multiplayer mode provides many hours of enjoyment.
Smooth 60FPS graphics which look nice, but often missed as you are tearing around the track.
A mix of music tracks which sound decent. Sound effects are sparse as expected in a racing game but they do the job.