I'm always buying games on a whim, especially when they're cheap. I know there are thousands of games available for this blog through emulators, but buying new ones can never hurt (well, unless they turn out to be shit). The digital distribution networks are particularly good for adding cheap titles to a collection, as they always have sales on. Super Laser Racer was two quid when I bought it, although it's only £2.99 at its regular price. A proper budget game, then!
Super Laser Racer is a futuristic racing game, but it's more in the vein of Super Sprint than F-Zero. And that's not a bad thing! The top-down racer can be a great game, if it's done well. I reckon Super Laser Racer is done well.
These corners can be tricky, especially when you're being rammed and shot at!
Looks-wise, I think it's really attractive. It's very much the Geometry Wars of the racing game genre in that respect, with glowing neon geometric shapes being the order of the day. There are loads of particles flying about too, as you'd probably expect, and I think it works really well with this kind of game.
As for the game, it works in a time-honoured tradition. There are four leagues to race, but only the first is unlocked from the beginning. Likewise, you get quite a choice of vehicle, each with different attributes, but only three are available from the start... the rest are unlockable. That may be a touch predictable, but it works and it keeps the interest level up a bit longer than it otherwise might.
A missile hit helps me to streak through into sixth place.
There are weapons, too... drive over a weapons box to pick up something random and helpful. These range from lasers, bombs and mines for the detriment of enemy racers, to shields and turbo, which are obviously helpful to you. You have to watch yourself, as you can run out of energy and if you do, you blow up, and you score no points for the race. Fortunately each track has a "pit" area by the side of the start straight, and if you drive through that your shields are recharged.
There's nothing particularly revolutionary about Super Laser Racer... it's just a classic genre with a bit of a twist, and done very well. Oh, and it has Achievements too, if that sort of thing floats your boat. If I'd bought this for as a Mastertronic game for £2.99 on my Commodore 64, I'd have been chuffed. For £2.99 on Steam... I'm perfectly happy with it.