Nostalgia is probably the biggest double-edged sword of gaming opinion. A screenshot or description of a new game can flood you mind with memories of childhood and a snapshot of time where you just had fun with games and issues like framerate were far from your mind. A lot of developers will feed on this intentionally or otherwise. On first look at images for Obliteracers you may think it’s Micromachines or a kart racer, it has elements of both, there’s no denying that, but those comparisons don’t do Obliteracers justice.

More than a kart racer Obliteracers is a rollercoaster where you just try to hang onto the track. The camera is locked to a certain position and pans around the track at a steady pace, it’s your job as the racer to just not to drop off the bottom of the screen. On the face of it that seems like a simple task, but instead you have up to 15 other racers there all crashing into you and making it hard to drive straight let alone maintain speed.

Obliteracers Review 2

Where Obliteracers does match it’s kart racing inspiration is the weapons, drive over orbs to pick up weapons and get a weapon; homing missiles, straight bullets, mines, side flame throwers and oil slicks are all at your disposal in this violent racer. After putting many hours into Obliteracers there is one weapon that I can honestly say I still have no idea what it does. That aside all the weapons feel powerful and require some level of skill to use.

Obliteracers isn’t really a racer it’s more of a survival game. Incredibly rarely is being in first place actually helpful in Obliteracers, if you’re in first you do get the choice of weapons, but you also get a huge crosshairs on your back for everyone from position 2 right through to 16. Instead we found that staying near the front and just taking advantage of others was a safer strategy. The reason I bring this up is not for me leet pro tips but instead to show there is something deeper about the game that to be honest the look of Obliteracers doesn’t even seem to realise.

Obliteracers Review 1

There’s a few different game modes but most of them fall into be the last car standing or get points for kills. Coming first means nothing, kills mean everything. This concept is fascinating, it changes how you expect to play this game instantly, you’ll want to push to the front, grab weapons and slam your brakes to get back in the pack to cause damage all whilst trying to maintain speed to not get disqualified or lose control of your car off a high ledge.

Aesthetically Obliteracers is much like every other kart racer over the past couple of decades, here’s a bunch of off brand comedic wacky characters that you race around areas like ‘future sky city New York’, ‘desert island’ and ‘transport ship’. None of these will make you spray your drink in a classic sitcom spit take. The levels are reasonably well designed but there’s just isn’t a hook on this aspect for you to scream “YES! That’s why this is special”.

Obliteracers Review 3

Obliteracers is at its best when you embrace the madness. There is a beautiful chaos to a 16 racer game, cars flying off in every direction and weapons being used as often as possible. In most kart racers and other such games your only real tactic is killing to get to 1st place, in Obliteracers your tactic is more nuanced, you’re going play by-play trying to just survive but also eek out some point from knocking opponents out of the round. The chaos sets Obliteracers apart, it makes it something more than ‘just another kart racer’ or something that is purely playing off gamers nostalgia for ‘them good old days’. Instead it takes that inspiration and pushes it further, making it something new, different and a hell of a lot of fun.

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Ruaidhri

Big-Boss of PixelBedlam.co.uk
Ruaidhri has been writing for a number of sites over the past few years, spewing his vitriol and love in equal measures on all topics from Video Games to Film and Board Games to Geek Culture. He started PixelBedlam in September of 2012. Follow him on Twitter!

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