RC Cars Hands-On Impressions

We take a test drive with Whiptail Interactive's upcoming RC car racing game.

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We recently had the opportunity to try out a playable version of Whiptail Interactive's upcoming radio-controlled car racing game, RC Cars. Developed in Russia by Creat Studio, RC Cars is an arcade-style racing game that includes a physics engine to model realistic collisions as well as the suspension of the cars you drive. Aside from championship, quick race, and ghost race modes, the game will ship with online multiplayer capability for up to six players in a race.

The basic gameplay of RC Cars is very simple. You'll use the keyboard to accelerate, brake, and steer, while keeping your fingers on a couple of other keys to control your car's turbo boost and jumping capabilities. While not particularly realistic, the jump function allows you to avoid some of the smaller obstacles you'll find on the tracks.

A few of the game's tracks will have you racing along the shoreline.
A few of the game's tracks will have you racing along the shoreline.

The game features 10 different tracks, representing a handful of real-world settings. These include a few beach tracks along the shoreline, military bases, abandoned mine shafts, and a ranch. Not all of the tracks are available from the outset--the lengthier and more complex circuits must be unlocked in the game's championship mode, where you can also earn money.

What's interesting about the tracks in RC Cars is the number and type of obstacles you'll face. Not only will you come across static objects like rocks and boxes, but you'll also have to deal with dynamic moving obstacles. Along the beach tracks you'll dodge around the legs of sunbathers while being mindful of the waves and surf that threaten to submerge your car. At the military bases, you'll have to be quick to get by soldiers who will open fire on your car as you pass them by. On tracks that involve streets, it can be especially tricky to weave in between and under the traffic of real cars that speed by. Curious dogs and other animals can get in the way and take swipes at you as your car whizzes by.

Your car never sustains any real damage when colliding with the various obstacles, but depending on the severity of the collision, your vehicle can get overturned or tossed into the air, which obviously slows you down in the race. The small racecar is very easily knocked off course when it collides with obstacles or other racers, whereas the larger trucks have a lot more stability. If you get overturned, righting the car is as easy as pressing the jump button, but you'll usually be set back at the last checkpoint you hit.

The six-wheeled truck is the most stable of the cars in collisions.
The six-wheeled truck is the most stable of the cars in collisions.

RC Cars features three different cars to choose from: a monster truck, a six-wheeled truck that resembles a Hummer, and a sleek racecar. Each of the cars has unique handling, speed, and acceleration capabilities. While the six-wheeled truck is much more stable and forgiving in a collision than the other two, it's not nearly as fast down the straights, and it's not as nimble around corners as the racecar. The monster truck, meanwhile, is average all-around.

As you earn money during the course of the game, you'll be able to purchase upgrades for your cars to improve the engine, booster, and tires. Engine upgrades affect your top speed and regular acceleration, while booster upgrades improve the effect and amount of turbo boost you get. Tire upgrades improve handling.

Those who are looking for a simple, pick-up-and-play racing game may want to keep an eye on RC Cars, which is scheduled to ship this November on the PC.

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