I’m not very good at top-down racing games. It was always my least favorite subgenre. Despite that, I gave Race Arcade, a new indie racing game by Iceflake Studios, a spin.

Everything you need to know about Race Arcade is in the name. It’s an arcade racing game.

You can play in local multiplayer or in a solo career mode, where you earn money and buy new vehicles. The solo career mode spans three seasons – which are a lot like tournaments – each with an assortment of races to play.

Depending on the place you finish in, you earn points for the racing season. The prize money only goes to the top three spots, though, so if you don’t perform well, you’re better off forfeiting the season.

However, if you go through the entire season, you open the next one. There’s no actual penalty for playing through a season even if you’re not doing well. You just won’t be able to unlock much.

The problem is that other than unlocking new tracks and vehicles; you don’t have a lot driving you to keep racing and winning. The races are just never truly exciting or innovative.

Sure, the whole thing is a nice throwback to the top-down racing games of old, but the gameplay never innovates beyond it.

No matter what track you’re playing on, whether its an urban street or a frozen river, all you do is mindlessly race around the track until you finish a set number of laps. I found the races tiresome, and never felt like I should try harder to unlock some of the other vehicles.

Race Arcade

As far as the art and visuals, the game remains in its comfort zone. The graphics are elementary, like the ones you’ll find in flash games or mobile games.

I like how some of the objects in the levels are animated, such as trains zooming past or planes flying. Apart from that though, everything is as simple as it gets, and not in a satisfying way.

Whatmore, the game suffers from a few glitches, like flickering lines around the track. So the game’s simplistic graphics look even less attractive, which is a shame.

The sound department doesn’t fare any better, either.

The sound effects are all generic ones you’ve heard before. They never have quite the “oomph” to get you excited; they’re just there to do their job. The announcer in the race has a muffled voice which doesn’t help much and adds to the very cheap feel of the game.

I did enjoy the music, though. The game features electronic music I enjoyed humming along to. It didn’t quite fit with the theme of the game, but it was fun and upbeat nevertheless.

Race Arcade

Race Arcade does what it’s supposed to do, and stops there. It desperately deals the nostalgia card too often, so much so that it fails to bring anything new to the table.

While the game has a lot of tracks and vehicles, there’s little reason to go through all of them unless you are a hardcore fan of top-down racing games, looking for a classic experience, that’s a bit too classic.

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