December 12, 2013

Rad Racer for the NES

One of the hottest things during the 70s and 80s were red sports cars- and the young Square didn't disappoint in releasing a racer featuring such a car. Developed two years after Super Mario Bros. in 1987, Rad Racer was a very popular game in the United States that featured a Ferrari and a F1 racer that the player could choose between.

The gameplay mechanics are very simple. The player races down the track as fast as they can before the timer runs out. If the timer runs out, your engine is shut off and you are forced to coast until you hit a checkpoint. Hitting a checkpoint allots you more time to race. Many times you will simply coast right into the checkpoint, breathe a sigh of relief and keep going. However- if you are a millisecond too slow or crash too often before hitting the flag points, you will stop short- and it can get very annoying when that happens.

While well designed, if you run off the road, hit a sign or another car your vehicle immediately changes its coefficient of friction. For non-scientists, that means touching anything makes your car perform as if it were on a road of ice, lubricant and gravy. You can pretty much kiss the run goodbye after two collisions.

As much as I would like to discuss this game in detail- that is pretty much it. I think the checkpoints are too thinned out- but some people like sitting here all day making sure that the game doesn't get the best of them. While fun for an hour or so of gaming, there are a couple of other games for the NES I would rather be playing. Still, Rad Racer is a cult classic that some would say that my words are criminal. Rad Racer gets a 8.54/10, placing it at #84 on my best games of all time.

Rad Racer is copyright Square, 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

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