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.