What do our Avatars get up to when we are not around?
It seems that our XBL Avatars are getting quite a lot to do just lately. With games such as Keflings allowing your online persona to stomp around like a giant and kick the peasants or Avatar Golf letting your big-headed little guy play a few rounds, your Avatar probably has more of a life than you do. Well, now it seems that your Avatar will have something else to do when not standing on your screen looking cool. It’s time to go racing.
Avatar Racedrome is an XBL Indie offering from Rendercode Games that puts your Avatar behind the wheel and gets them racing. At only 80MSPoints, don’t be expecting the next big thing in racing. But, like me, you may be surprised at what you get.
The game features 16 reversible tracks around which to race in practice or championship races alone, or race with others in split screen local or over XBL with up to eight players. The player gets to customise their vehicles colour and add flags to let others know where thay are racing from.
The selection of tracks are quite imaginative, all set within a big stadium populated with other Avatars. There are plenty of nice tight corners around which to maneuver your car. The cars are all the same, with the exception of colour and flag. Whilst neither the quality of the cars or the tracks offer a lot by of detail, both are adequate considering the price of the game and the players Avatars fit in well.
The handling of the cars, like the graphics, is adequate. There is a nice sense of speed, but cornering leaves something to be desired. Still, once the player has become accustomed to the way that the cars handle, the game doesn’t really offer any hardships. There is even the option to rewind time in the single player races in order to make another attempt at any particularly difficult maneuvers.
Where Avatar Racedrome really shines, through all of the merely average graphics and gameplay, is in its online offerings. It is actually quite rare for an Indie game to offer any form of online play. But AR actually allows your Avatar to race against other players Avatars from around the world. Up to eight players can race at once and, although there was a distinct lack of other players when I was trying out this mode, it is a huge amount of fun. How many other online racing games can you name where you can actually put a face to your opponent? The game did suffer from a few lagging issues and a couple of frame rate glitches, but these really did not detract from the amount of fun I was having whilst trying to beat my opponents.
Avatar Racedrome really is a nice surprise. The production values are obviously lacking and the game has the feeling that it is not quite finished. But actually playing the game offline is a lot of fun. Taking that fun online makes Avatar Racedrome one of the better indie games currently available. At 80 MSPoints, there really is no question. Definitely worth playing!