Jul 19, 2013
GP Retro is a racing game that isn’t scared to rock looks of old, and I suspect it is aware of my abject weakness for titles that bring back the wonderful things of days gone by.
The game comes at us in glorious 2D, and in this one, retro is no misnomer. The chunky pixels underscore the jittery unsure animations that make these type of games fun to look at. The purposely un-sharp colors were done well, and even the intro pages for the drivers were nicely formatted to fit with the retro look.
As for gameplay, it is basically top-down view simulated Grand Prix open-wheel (to start) racing over mostly asymmetrical raceways. Sharp turns characterize the racing; losing control and ending up on grass slows down the race car considerably. There are valuables and power-ups to be collected, as well as hazards to be avoided.
I found the controls a bit hard to “get” at first, and I liked this; it means, to me, that the game needs to be mastered. I loved the fact that the developer gives several steering options, including tilting and use of a joystick. It took a while to be truly competitive in the game, but practice does make perfect, and it’s almost unfair to gripe about something that actually adds to the challenge of the game.
There are plenty of tracks, and several un-lockable characters to compete with, some real, and some weirdly mystical, and this all fits in the retro feel of the game. There are different cars (an ice cream truck, people), and I like the multiple racing modes; one can race in longer, custom races, against specific racers or a time countdown event.
No matter how far we go in our racing lives, there will always be a place for arcade-ish games like GP Retro. It packs in a good amount of old school goodness, and is a phenomenal time waster.