Sunday, August 13

Nindie Preview: Snow Moto Racing Freedom

Racing in snow-covered landscapes is coming to the Switch in the form of Snow Moto Racing Freedom! As a sequel to an already-successful title there is apparently quite a demand for this genre, so fans should be thrilled with this mix of open-course checkpoint racing in Sprint League, closed-course carnage in Snocross mode, and then the more advanced challenges of Freedom League.

 For the most part the mechanics of racing are pretty simple. You’ll be able to accelerate, brake, there’s a way to get some boost at the press of a button, and you’ll have a number of options for stunting if you feel so inclined or are looking to get some added oomph in your boosts. Turning becomes the most crucial thing to master, especially when your turns are sharp, as the feel for this is a bit different than you’d be used to playing different types of racing games. It all makes sense but it is an adjustment.

In the time I played I enjoyed the open landscapes of Sprint League the most, as they were the most interesting to try to navigate and find shortcuts in to get a leg up on the AI and their mostly set path. In addition the elevation changes in several places on these course afforded easy stunt opportunities so they helped get me out of my shell a bit. The mini map is helpful for ensuring you keep track of things, most crucially which direction you’ll want to go through the checkpoint in, but you’ll need to plan your own path overall. Snocross mode, with its set tracks and hairpin turns, I found to be much more challenging as you’ll really need to be on top of your control game to succeed and there’s little margin for error.

 Aside from the variety in tracks Freedom will also throw different times of day and conditions like fog into the mix to keep things from getting too stale. Racing in these less ideal conditions can be tricky since you’ll have a tendency to get yourself into trouble more easily if you stray from the intended path. Visually you’re able to switch your camera from being close behind, further behind, and the pretty-intense first-person view. I tended to go with the further behind camera since I like to have the full picture of where other racers and obstacles are in relation to me, and it helped me improve my technique, but first-person did have its allure.

More than anything Freedom represents an option on the menu that normally isn’t present and for that it gets some respect. Variety is the spice of life and for snowmobile enthusiasts an option for racing something familiar and dear should be fun. As someone unfamiliar I’m unable to comment on the authenticity of the handling and feel of this racing experience but I can at least appreciate its novelty.

This preview is based off of the PC version of the game but should be representative of the final gameplay. There currently isn't a known release date for this title.