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Circuit Superstars

Developer: Original Fire Games

Competititve Mutliplayer
  • Price: $19.99
  • Release Date: Jun 21, 2023
  • Number of Players: 1 - 12
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E [Everyone]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    A love letter to fans of old-school arcade racing with a decent amount of variety in handling across loads of vehicles

    As an old-school gamer, who grew up playing through the evolution of racing games from the most primitive to the modern times, I’ve seen titles spanning just about every perspective you could imagine. While I’m absolutely a fan of more contemporary 3D games where the camera is behind the vehicle, many of my favorite racers from over the years have been in more of a classic top-down style. Circuit Superstars, while perhaps played from more of an isometric angle, absolutely scratches that classic racing itch, though depending on what style of play you’re looking for, it may not be what you’re looking for.

    While certainly not as obsessively focused on precision as more “simmy” racers out there, Circuit Superstars is squarely focused on no nonsense straight-up racing. Each class of vehicle you race in has its own feel in terms of its handling and performance, and the braking and turning techniques you’ll need to apply continue to adapt and evolve as you go. Certainly a key component to success is simply getting to have a feel and some muscle memory for the 32 tracks and their flow, getting the hang of how best to handle everything from hairpin turns to curvy sections where you’ll be tempted to go off-road, but contained by the risk of a penalty if you’re too aggressive.

    Since there are no power-ups, boosts, or upgrades here, the challenge is to simply be the better and more consistent driver throughout each race in order to win, and especially over the course of longer races this can be tricky. While not every race you run is long enough to warrant it, there will be some where you’ll also need to hit the pits for fuel, fresh tires, or to repair damage if you’ve been somewhat reckless. In particular, you will feel some differences in your turning performance when your tires are spent, though thankfully you won’t have a blowout and get knocked out of the race right away when the gauge runs to zero.

    Aside from options to play solo or locally with a few friends, online play is also an option, though the times I’ve periodically checked in the numbers haven’t been great. Considering the game has been out for quite some time the fact that everything isn’t completely empty is encouraging, but it may well be that peak participation in online play has already passed. So if that’s a key consideration for you in the purchase, unless you’re planning to play with friends who have the game as well, you’ll want to take that into account. 

    At the end of the day, your enjoyment of this racer will hinge on what sort of experience you’re looking for. If you’re on one of the more extreme ends of the spectrum, looking for either a hardcore sim or an arcade-like combat racer, you’ll likely be disappointed. If, however, you appreciate the skill required to brake and slide through a turn, always looking to try to keep on the racing lines, this may have some real appeal. Given the fact that there are so few decent top-down racers on the system, and having already endured quite a number of them to this point, I’ve quickly gotten to be quite fond of this one with its charming look, reasonable price, and challenging but fair racing action.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Nindie Choice! [9.0]

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