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Best Games - Moto Racer

Moto Racer is a deeply unfair game. Every slight bend in the road could end your race. A mistimed button press could mean the difference between finishing first or last. Nailing every corner, every straightaway, every jump is absolutely required to win. That’s on the medium difficulty. Moto Racer demands perfection.

That might sound like a recipe for a bad game. Players typically don’t want to trial and error their way through most games, let alone a racing game. Racing games are supposed to be about speed and timing and weaving through opponents. Taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. Balancing aggression with racing tactics. Moto Racer isn’t that type of game. 

There is a certain joy in learning and then perfecting a system. Optimizing to the minimum number of movements in the shortest span of time. That is the type of game Moto Racer is. You are presented with a handful of tracks in two different modes. In the street racing mode it’s all about speed and careful use of a turbo that boosts your bike forward, but also decimates your maneuverability. In motocross mode it’s about drifting hairpin turns and hitting jumps with the right amount of speed so you land cleanly with your speed intact. In both modes you will have to hit buttons and lean your bike at exactly the right time lap after lap after lap. 

That’s really what this game is about. Moto Racer doesn’t boast a realistic physics model, or complex tracks, or deep upgrades. It’s about learning the tracks, perfecting the tracks, and then trying to shave millisecond off your lap times. It feels like racing.

You will not win the first time you play Moto Racer. Every time you start a new track, you will lose. It won’t matter how well you did on the previous track. It is unfair in that way. It is unfair as a game. Run a track 5, 10, 20 times though, and you will start to memorize it. When to let off the turbo and when to open it up. How early to start a turn, and when to dive out of a corner. You will master the tracks and you will win. You will have earned it.

Moto Racer might not be able to stand up to modern racing games, but the developers added something to the game that a lot of its current day counterparts lack. The heart pounding feeling of pushing your precision to the edge and succeeding. 

Moto Racer is brilliant and it’s one of the best games.

This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by the author.
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