With a very few exceptions, I am not a fan of ‘racing’ games.  Especially racing games that try to be as realistic as possible, give you control over every aspect of your car, and pay for upgrades for the smallest thing all the way up to entire engines.  They just bore me to death.  I mean, they’re complicated to play, you spend a lot of time trying to figure everything out, then you read screen after screen to see what the upgrades are all about, and finally, you race and have a learning curve on the controls and you go round and round on a track, which is a new kind of boring.

Like I said – not a fan.

My XBOX 360 came with a racing game called Forza 2 (and a Marvel game) that was exactly the kind of game I describe above.  I played it once, maybe twice, but absolutely hated it.

Now, I also mentioned above that there are exceptions.  I have Star Wars Podracing for the N64 somewhere in a box.  That was a fun game.  For a little while.  Starts to be very repetitive after a short period of time.  Still, it was different and I liked it.  Probably my single most favorite racing game was a little Sega Genesis game called Road Rash.  I played the hell out of that game.

You were a motorcycle racer doing races along California highways.  Illegal races, if I remember correctly.  Yes, you could get better bikes along the way that had better speed, braking and handling.  But the game was simple to play / control the bikes, and you could fight the other racers either by kicking or punching them, or sometimes, they might have a club you could snatch and smack people with.  Hit em just right and then went down (hence the name, ‘Road Rash’).  I want to say there were also cops who would appear and try to pull you over, slow you down or stop you.  The sequel, Road Rash II, added a chain as a potential weapon, but the original was the game I liked.  Couldn’t find it in any of the local stores, so I would rent it from the local video store.  A lot.

There was just something about the game that captured my attention and held it for quite some time.

Another was a post-apocalyptic racing game.  Kinda like Mad Max meets the Demolition Derby.  Cannot for the life of me remember the name of it, but you were in this tournament like environment, but after the world was blown to shit or something.  The concept was a sort of death race where you are racing, but you also have missiles, guns and mines you could use to take out the other racers.  Again, the idea of upgrades was pretty simple – bigger gun better, bigger gun cost blah.  You spent more time playing than studying endless screens trying to figure out if a new set of shocks are more worth the investment over a new clutch.  Bleh.

I mention this because I needed a reward.  I am a fan of the ‘work hard get a reward’ method of writing.  When I hit a milestone, it’s nice to celebrate.  In the past, I have celebrated by doing things like: go out to dinner, buy a new video game, see a movie.  Unfortunately, money is tight right now, so these things that I would normally do are off the table.  I needed to come up with something else.

I landed on the idea of hitting the App Store for a free game for the laptop.  I’ve resisted putting games on the laptop (I did install a Solitaire game once), but I thought this was a worthwhile endeavor so decided to break my self-imposed rule (again) – if I hit 75,000 words on the current work in progress.  Which I did.  And so I got to go shopping.  Sort of.  🙂

Inside the App Store, I navigated to the Top Free Games page and started shopping.

No idea why it stood out to me, but I focused in on RC Mini Racers.  Boy am I glad I did.  What a fun game!

RC stands for Radio Controlled (I think – could be ‘remote’?), so you are in command of a little car that is racing ten other little cars around a neighborhood.  This means that ‘real cars’ are MASSIVE from your perspective, as are houses, fences, trees and bushes, etc.  Reminds me of when you are zooooooooming along as a Gnome in World of Warcraft (cuz you’re small / close to the ground).

The controls are dead easy (use your arrow keys), and, which I always like, you can blow shit up.  You have missiles to shoot ahead of you, and mines to drop behind you – both of which can be replenished along the way (you start the race with one each).  Playing for ‘cash prizes’, you get extra money for explosions, car crashes, etc.  Also, there’s a couple of ramps where you can jump over ‘real’ cars and gain extra profits for ‘hang time’.  If someone blows you up and you are in the air, that, too, qualifies as ‘hang time’ and can gain you profits.  Last, you have turbo boosts that you can pick up.  If you thought you were zooming before…

I will say this – two turbo boosts at the same time make controlling the car RIDICULOUSLY HARD!  But, still fun.  Especially when you’re skidding around a turn and can’t stop yourself before your little RC Car goes flying into some bushes.

Playing this game has been a nice little reward for putting butt in seat and getting words written.  Now, I need to find another prize for when I hit 100,000…