Allow me to share a quote from the official RC Racers web site:
Angry Lawn Gnomes
Bent on revenge against the frolicking RC Racers which have
invaded their yard, the Lawn Gnomes launch bombs at the passing
racers. If they are lucky enough to blow up one of the passing
motorists, they shake and giggle with glee.
After reading this, my brain involuntarily responded:
“Holy fuck! Angry Lawn Gnomes!”
I’m sure you reacted similarly.
Finally, a game that brings the dichotomous worlds of frolicking
RC racing and explosion-lobbing dwarfs together. God bless 3D
Ultra for finding the inner strength and heavy abuse of Ny-Quil
cough syrup that went into the creation of this fine product.
In addition to its stunning display of Gnome throwing physics, RC
Racers offers a quick and dirty take on the wacky world of
radio-controlled racing. What it does, in regards to creative track
design and car model customization, RC Racers does well.
Unfortunately, its what RC Racers doesn’t do, which is quite a lot,
that hurts it the most. There is little reason to spend any more than
a couple of hours with this game. It lacks the secondary features,
such as time trial racing, built-in track editor, internet-based
multiplayer (gasp!), and the compulsory 3D eye-candy to make
extended play worthwhile.
In a gaming world that runs on the latest and greatest of 3D
technologies, RC Racers is way behind the times. At first glance,
the pre-rendered backgrounds and sprite-based cars in RC Racers
seem extremely dated and bland. My initial response to the
graphics was one of disgust. Having spent a considerable chunk of
change for my 3D graphics card I almost expect games to
fully utilize the capabilities of my all powerful and omnipotent
machine. However, after playing RC Racers for the better part of
an hour, I began to notice a number of subtle details on the tracks.
Angry Gnomes smirk mischievously, huge frogs hop around in the
road, and flags sway with realistic momentum. Even though its not
3DFX, Open GL or even D3D enhanced, I have to give points where
points are due. I’m a sucker for extraneous attention to details and
RC Racers delivers them.
Similarly detailed are the track-based sound effects. Ghosts howl,
puddles splash and laser powered rocket launch-pads hum. My
only qualms with the sounds in RC Racers are the item pick up and
release effects. The generic bleeps are far too “arcade” sounding,
and seem out of place in the backyard-racing atmosphere of the
game. In addition to these effects there is the standard overly
excited race announcer that informs you of last laps and insults
your racing skill when your car falls too far behind.
Eight tracks, ranging from a miniature golf course to a construction
site, are all available at the start of RC Racers. It’s rare to find a
game that gives racers all the tracks and cars initially, instead of
slowly portioning out hidden tracks and cars as you progress
further in the game. Though I found it nice to have free range of
all the tracks right away, it offers little for replay in terms of
achieving race goals. A circuit mode lets you race three or four
tracks in succession, but at best it’s a minimal attempt at extended
replay. The cars themselves drive and handle appropriately, and
anyone who has experience with this style of game will have no
After going through a few of the tracks and getting a feel for
sliding around the numerous hairpin corners 3D starts to run on
empty. The AI is nothing special, and with only two extremely
similar difficulty settings (easy & hard) there is little motivation to
continue playing single player racing. A circuit mode allows you to
race for money, to upgrade your RC car, ala the Nintendo game
RC Pro Am, but even it runs thin after a while. Equally as
under-utilized is the Multiplayer racing, which available only in
same-screen racing, one person on the keyboard and the other on
the game pad. Lack of internet play really hurts the replay and fun
factor of RC Racers, no real surprise there.
3D Racers is a fun, but short, ride into radio-controlled racing. It
has the makings of a quality RC racing game, but lacks the depth
to interest gamers for more than a brief period of time. I’d like to
end with some praise of the 3D Ultra web site. I was impressed by
the use of site forums by the game designers to communicate
directly with their fans. Many posts in the forum were of
conversations describing game aspects, gameplay ideas and other
issues related to making this game as pro-RC racing enthusiast as
possible. I was also surprised to find an extensive list links to real
life RC Racing sites. Both Sierra and 3D Ultra realize that these
“little” games live and die on their dedicatedly loyal fan bases.
Though we have no category in points for it, and I can’t adjust my
rating to show it, I commend the developers for showing where
their hearts really are.