CarX Highway Racing Logo
CarX Highway Racing Icon
CarX Highway Racing

Developer: CarX Technologies

  • Price: $9.90
  • Release Date: Mar 14, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    For a pretty low-budget mobile conversion, this racer shows promise even though it has limitations

    While in the past I’ve always felt like I generally had my racing fix satisfied by Nintendo systems, in the Switch generation the representation has been a bit more sparse. Between a lack of Nintendo-made titles, and only moderate representation from bigger publishers, it has been up to the indie space to try to fill in the gaps. While there are some great indie racers, the offerings have still been pretty sparse overall, and have usually opted more for a retro racing feel. Working to try to bring in some classic Need for Speed vibes we now have CarX Highway Racing giving it a shot, and while it may not be perfect, for a humble asking price it still performs better than I expected.

    Starting with what works, for a game running on the Switch hardware and carrying a budget-friendly price it looks and performs a bit better than expected. Granted, the reflective surfaces may be a bit on the dated side in terms of the look, but after suffering through titles that either struggled with looking blocky or performing poorly, this comes through admirably. For people who like to trick out their ride there’s also a respectable amount of customization that’s possible, though obviously dwarfed by the likes of your typical Need for Speed offering. Lastly, on the whole the very arcade-style controls tend to work well enough, though I’d also say they aren’t necessarily pushed very hard overall. Still, while the cars may not handle as well as some better titles, the controls are hardly standing in your way the majority of the time, and this is quite important as driving close to other vehicles tends to be vital to building up your boosts quickly… and you’ll need them.

    In terms of where the game comes up short, it’s hard not to try to be somewhat mindful of the sub $10 price tag in order to try to be fair. The most obvious casualties once you’ve given it some time are both the lack of diversity in the courses you’ll be racing (it isn’t named Highway Racing for nothing it turns out) and the typically short length of most challenges. Granted, coming from the mobile space there’s usually a premium on more bite-sized races, but there are some events here that are almost shockingly brief, and that can make for some odd challenges at times as you try to very quickly build up your turbo in the hopes of closing some distance. The more old-school issue of rubber banding is also visibly present at times, though at least it can work to your advantage as even in pretty short races you can hope to be able to close the gap and win the race.

    This is one of those challenging cases where I’m torn between seeing potential that isn’t capitalized upon, and understanding that when the game is this cheap it’s going to have to be spread a bit thin in spots. If you’re looking for a deep racer with diverse courses and plenty of track to soak up the racing experience with, this will very likely disappoint. If, however, you’re just looking for a decent arcade racer that will fit nicely into your budget, and delivers reasonably good racing action to be enjoyed in bursts, it does pull that off pretty nicely, though I’d like to see a bit more ambition for this series in the future to see what they’re really capable of.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Good [7.5]

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