Hotshot Racing review – knockabout arcade racing fun

If you’ve ever enjoyed an arcade racer, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll find something to enjoy in Hotshot Racing. Apologies for opening on such a banality, but honestly it’s true – and that’s partly because there’s a little bit of every arcade racer of note in Lucky Mountain Games and Sumo Digital’s enjoyable, knockabout medley of all that’s great and good about the genre.

There’s some of Virtua Racing, Winning Run and those other early 3D pioneers in Hotshot Racing, withs its lo-polygon look that’s so sharp you could slice your finger on its hard edges. And this really is a striking thing, both in stills and in motion: commendably, it’s 60fps across all platforms, that slickness doing justice to colourful, overstated worlds that feel like the developers have had some of whatever Sega was drinking in its mid-90s heyday. They’re upbeat fantasy worlds, presided over by gargantuan statues and speeding under blue, blue skies.

There’s a touch more Sega beneath those visuals – a dash of Scud Race in its garage that takes inspiration from real-life legends, a little OutRun in its drifting and drafting, both of which are then used to fill up a multi-stage boost bar that’s pure Burnout. The drifting itself takes its cues from Split/Second, with cars quick to break traction and just as happy to snap back into line in what’s a very approachable brand of arcade racing. It’s incredibly easy to get to grips with, perhaps because this is the sort of thing best experienced with a bunch of rowdy friends in the four-player splitscreen that’s on offer.

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