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Super Laser Racer Review

November 18th, 2010 by

If you could see my face right now, you’d see I’m pretty smug!
Smug because I’ve managed to find a great game which not only runs on my Mac, but has also replaced Peggle as my go to desktop game.
Developed by New Star Games and available as either a direct download from their web site or on everybody’s favourite service, Steam. There is nothing stopping you going and downloading the demo right now.

For those who need a little more convincing, imagine the top-down sliding feel and controls of Micro Machines, the weapon and boost pickups of Wipeout along with the visuals and sounds of Geometry Wars. I hope by now you’re downloading the demo! This top-down future racer combines all that is great about those games into one excellent value for money download.

Your typical single races are available as 4 different events including a straight race to the finish, Elimination and Survival modes. Or take on all 4 courses of one of the 6 categories in a tournament (total of 24 different tracks) with a number of different difficulties each time earning medals. The initial few tracks are simple enough to navigate but as things get more tricky you’ll see branching paths, some with additional risk or rewards. One interesting thing the tracks do is present you with the boundaries of the course, but also give you a narrower line to follow, going out of that line will slow you down, but again can be beneficial depending on environmental hazards.

It is these boundaries of the track which make the weapons of the game a little more interesting and sometimes devastating. Take lasers for example, you may miss the craft ahead of you, but the beam itself will continue bouncing off the walls of the track for a few more seconds.  With a 3-way laser and the complicated track layout, even the most random of shots can result in chaos for all around you. Keeping with the weapons, along with lasers you’ll be laying mines, dropping bombs, firing cannons and even deploying a tractor beam. Only one weapon can be held at any one time, so if you don’t use it fast, it might be worth just ditching it for something more suitable based on your position in the race.

To add to the insanity of races, you’ll be pitted against 11 other opponents. Each one controlling a unique craft which not only have their own colourful and wonderful design, but also have different statistics depending on how you play including acceleration, steering and shield. Now your shield can be your best friend, as each time you are hit by a weapon your craft will take damage and lose control, take too many hits in one race and its game over. Thankfully there is a shield recharge you can fly through each lap which sometimes is needed but will cost you valuable seconds.

The audio for the game isn’t going to be to everyone’s liking. The music is similar to Geometry Wars with ambient scores combined with fast drum samples filling it out, very Orbital (you can trust my music knowledge). However the sound effects can become a little repetitive and the collision sound is far too familiar to clashing lightsabers.

There is a multiplayer mode within Super Laser Racer which supports internet and LAN play. However at present this is still in Beta testing for the Mac version, so I am unable to comment on how this works. Rounding this experience off is a track editor allowing those with twisted minds to take the track design to another level.

With a demo that really sold me on the fun that could be had and a price of £2.99 for the full game, you would be doing yourself a massive disservice if you don’t check our Super Laser Racer

MLG Rating: 8 /10

Platform: Mac / PC Release Date: Now

Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Super Laser Racer for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of four days on an iMac. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.

6 Responses to “Super Laser Racer Review”
  1. avatar Octy says:

    I got as far as the ‘replaced Peggle’ bit and was so incensed I had to comment. Nothing could replace Peggle. NOTHING. I have to go play Peggle now but I will read the rest of the article later.

  2. avatar A Jim says:

    They added multiplayer? I bought this when it launched on Steam but it was pretty bare to start with. I’ll have to give it another go.

  3. avatar John Mullins says:

    Oh man! Like Octy, I could not manage to finish the article, but for different reasons. Upon reading “replaced Peggle as my go to desktop game.”, I had tears streaming from laughter. I managed to finish the first paragraph but no more. Call me snobbish or hardcore (whatever that means), but I feel like such games belong in the realm of phones. I just want to scream, “Either find a *real* game or do a crossword instead!”

    John
    P.S. Steam sucks…

  4. avatar xeroxeroxero says:

    @John – What are *real* games to you? Would love to see a list.

  5. avatar Azrial says:

    I’ve yet to try the demo, but people slagging this review off, just because Matt stated that this has replaced Peggle as his desktop game, seem’s kinda childish, Matt has finished Peggle, so has moved onto pastures new, same as everybody else who finished it years ago, I may give the demo a blast, I may not (seeing as I hated Micro Machines/Super Sprint) but either way, Matt enjoyed the game and I thank him for sharing his opinion on it. Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to carry on playing Zen Bound 2, another classic found on the wonderful Steam.

  6. avatar Azrial says:

    OK, I decided to give it a blast on your recommendation, and you know what, it’s really good, I don’t like top down racers as I said before, yet this has me coming back for more, I may even slap my £2.99 down for the full version.

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