There are plenty of great, realistic racers out on the market right now. Titles like Forza and Gran Turismo dominate the racing scene. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many great options on the Nintendo Switch. What is missing from all consoles nowadays are retro arcade racing experiences. Hotshot Racing instantly remedies that.
One glance at Hotshot Racing‘s visuals will give just about anyone nostalgia. The game looks like it was pulled directly from the ’90s, giving tons of Daytona USA and Ridge Racer vibes. It’s full of blocky pixels, chunky cards, and colorful tracks. The hud is full has cheesy fonts displaying how much time is left, the car’s speed, and other little pieces of information. It’s a clear throwback to a different time, and that influence is what makes Hotshot Racing so special.
Hotshot Racing is more than just a nostalgic trip though. It’s a genuinely fun game, with tight controls and high speeds. The turning is smooth, and players will have tons of options when it comes to approaching every curve. Drifting is simple to learn but takes experience to make the most out of.
Every vehicle comes with a different set of stats to make them feel different. There aren’t really too many builds in the game, but there is enough variety to keep things interesting. There are also eight drivers that have a bit of personality, but otherwise don’t alter the gameplay much. They are mostly there for aesthetic purposes, which is fine. There are also various cosmetic changes to each car that can be unlocked as well. Quite a few cars are iconic, even if they aren’t officially licensed. The standout for me is a car that looks like the AE86 from Initial D.
There are a few modes to choose from, including a Grand Prix mode where players can compete in a few cups and see some exotic locales. There are a few arcade modes to mix up the gameplay, in addition to things like Time Trial and of course, multiplayer. Players can compete locally or via online play. Unfortunately, the lobbies aren’t too populated as of writing, but that could always change with a nice sale in the future. It would be nice to see a bit more content for solo players, but there is enough here to keep players racing for a few hours.
The game does run fantastically on the Switch. I never noticed a dip in frame rate. The graphics are blocky and simple, but they still look clean on a modern console. It’s the perfect blend of retro and modern. It’s a solid racing game and one that should be on the radar of any fan.
Hotshot Racing is a fun experience for those who miss the old days of racing. It's light on content, but has fantastic mechanics that drive the experience