Re-Volt Review

Re-Volt Featured

Re-Volt Boxart

Developer: Acclaim Studios Teesside
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment, H2 Interactive
Platform: Android, Dreamcast, iOS, Nintendo 64, PC – GOG* (Reviewed), PlayStation 1

Over the years there have been copious amount of racing games across consoles and arcades. And yet, we’ve only rarely seen ones that put players in control of RC cars. The two biggest names to have done so are Re-Volt and the Micro Machines series, both of which have been absent from the most recent console generation. Unlike the latter, Re-Volt only ever got one game but it still managed to develop a following. It was important enough that fans even created a patch to make sure the game would continue to run on modern PCs. But is the game really that deserving of praise?

Despite having only just played this game from 1999 in 2013, it still manages to be a lot of fun. A large part of the fun comes from the fact that you’re racing RC cars. They look just like they should and are tiny against the stage. Instead of racing on well-known race tracks, these cars simply tear it up around the suburbs, market, museum, and the like. This helps Re-Volt have a very unique appearance against its contemporaries.

Cars themselves handle semi-finicky and are downright speedy. This precise control becomes more of an issue if you choose to play with a gamepad, unfortunately. If you encounter too much trouble racing with one then definitely shift to the keyboard. This was my issue because the controller made me over steer and lose races whereas the keyboard was far more manageable. Those who prefer can enable options to change the maximum speed of cars or how they react to crashes to make it an easier or harder racer.

Re-Volt Featured

If you like Mario Kart’s item system then you might even be more interested in this game. Items are scattered across the course and signified by lightning bolts. Once you drive over one, an item is revealed to you and ready for action. You can get bowling balls, oil slicks, firecrackers, and even bombs. It may be aping off an established concept but is utilized well. Thankfully, there are no blue shell analogues!

Even though Re-Volt is over 10 years old now it still looks lively and cute. Many early polygonal games look rough but it still looks just fine to me. This is helped in part by the fact that a fan patch (included with GOG copies) allows the game to run at modern resolutions and look great doing so. This is the main way in which the PC version shines over consoles since they’re locked at much smaller resolutions. In any case, it seems that the game would be wholly enjoyable however you access it.

Re-Volt is a pretty tough racer but it also has a lot of spirit. Check it out if you’re willing to lose your fair share of times before finally getting a hang of your favorite RC car. After racing a while, try your hand at designing some tracks or playing against a friend in multiplayer.

Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas

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