Following in the wake of other retro racing games, comes Curve Digital, Sumo Digital Ltd, and Lucky Mountain Games “Hotshot Racing”. Which is a cross between some of Sega’s old racing games, “Outrun” and “Pole Position”.

Anyways, I think you get the idea. So as I was saying, this game features numerous modes (Gran Prix, single race with variants, time trials, an online mode), but is it enough to put it ahead of the competition?

hotshot racing the main menu

“Hotshot Racing” is like a mix of old-school racing games from the 90s, racing titles such as “Stunt”, “Ridge Racer”, “Outrun”, and “Pole Position”.

To start with it, it appears that your presence in the racing line-up isn’t exactly desired…You see, all of your competitors with try and ram into you whenever they get a chance to do so (something of which tend to get very annoying after a while), as doing so sends your car into an almost out-of-control state.

hotshot racing on the starting blocks

Visually, “Hotshot Racing” is pretty darn impressive. As the game mixes retro graphics with modern graphics.

I mean, sure, while that is something that should be very much expected in game modes such as “Cops and Robbers” and “Keep Moving modes“. It is certainly unnecessary everywhere else. Drifting is another problematic area – at least for a while. Because unlike most racing games, drifting is easy to control simply because there is no need to control it – as it’s just a matter of straightening out when need be.

hotshot racing the car selection screen

Say hello Hotshot Racing’s car selection screen, which is pretty self-explanatory in its own right (it’s very simple, and it works).

However, “Hotshot Racing” is different, as you do need to maintain control all the way through a bend, otherwise, you’ll end up in one of the side objects (or hit by an opponent).

hotshot racing the start of one of-the alternative game modes

There are quite a few different alternative game modes to pick from in the game (such as the “Cops and Robbers”, “‘Drive or Explode”, and “Time Trial and Grand Prix” game modes).

So once you get used to the fact that fine control over drifting is needed, it quickly becomes second nature. Well, at least until you come across a curve quicker than you expected…Even so though, the car control is good in general. So there isn’t a problem there, and the impression of speed is good.

hotshot racing one out of the many epilogue animations

Once you complete a tournament in “Hotshot Racing”, the player is presented with a rather silly “feel good” epilogue animation.

Other than that, when starting a game, you can choose from a fairly good selection of drivers, a limited number of cars, difficulty, and automatic or manual transmission. Furthermore, your chosen vehicle has a boost system that is built up over time (usually by drafting other cars, and can only be used if at least one block is filled).

hotshot racing the need for speed

There are 16 different racing circuits in total in “Hotshot Racing” which consists of everything from coastal, jungle, alpine, and Las Vegas desert environments.

And right now I bet that quite a few are thinking these exact thoughts: “Yeah, yeah! So, what about the game’s racing track then?”. Well…The tracks are certainly colorful, although it does make it hard to see the track sometimes.

Occasionally, there are also things going on in the background, although you’ll be zipping along too quickly to take much in. The tracks themselves are looped and whilst have a few hills, troughs and sharp bends, aren’t particularly exciting – it’s all really bland.

hotshot racing up-close and personal

Yes, you can play “Hotshot Racing” through a first-person/behind the steering wheel kind of view if you like to.

As for sound and music. Well…The sound effects are fine, although the snippets from your driver get old very fast, and aside from the title tune…And pretty much all in-game music is quite forgettable. Graphically, the vehicles and background objects are very nice, with nice sharp edges. Unfortunately, the racing driver designs are hideous

hotshot racing street racing like a boss

“Hotshot Racing” is a very competent racing game with no doubt. However, sadly enough, the game leaves a lot to be desired as well…

And sadly enough, the negative aspects of the game don’t end there. Please allow me to explain why that’s the case. Yes, there is indeed an online play mode to be found in “Hotshot Racing”. However, the server lobby is all empty most of the time

In other words, the online aspect of “Hotshot Racing” is just as dead as Amy Schumer’s stand-up carer. So, I’m just going to wrap this review of mine up with the following words:

“Hotshot Racing” is an okay racing arcade game, but there is nothing particularly nor special about it for the most part, and the game isn’t exactly cheap either considering what you get in return for your money.

+ Very nice car graphics and the scenery is pretty good as well.
+ Car control is responsive.
+ Different camera views are available.
+ Different gameplay modes are available.

– The character graphics are pretty darn hideous.
– The in-game music is forgettable.
– There is nothing particularly outstanding with the track layout.
– Colour scheme can make working out what is the track, problematic.
– You continually end-up being rammed by your opponents throughout the whole game.

Gameplay: 3/5
Graphics: 4/5
Sound and music: 3/5
Controls: 3/5
Replay value: 3/5
Story: 3/5

tgg grade 3 out of 5

Verdict: 3/5
“Hotshot Racing” is a competent racing game, with responsive controls and nice graphics (mostly). However, the game is let down by boring tracks and opponents that love trying to ram your vehicle instead of going around you…Furthermore, the game’s online multiplayer mode is dead in the water too…

I also find the price tag to be rather expensive as well considering what you get for your money…So you might want to wait until you could pick-up “Hotshot Racing” at a cheaper price range than it’s the current asking price.

Title: Hotshot Racing
Developer: Sumo Digital Ltd, Lucky Mountain
Format: PC
Genre: Racing
Resolution: Highest possible on PC
Release date: 2020-10-10
Difficulty: Progressively tricky
Spent time: + 2 hours
Average grade internationally: 71%
PEGI age rating:
Price:  17.49 Euros (via Steam)

Robin Ek – Editor

tgg author avatar Nicholas Kingsley
Nicholas Kingsley
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @sku_te

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