Racing games are a dime a dozen, but Mattel and Hutch Games are making something a little more unique — Hot Wheels: Race Off. It’s still racing at its core, but it veers off from the traditional Need for Speed style and instead pits you against a single opponent in a race against the clock. At first, Hot Wheels: Race Off may not seem like much, but with its addictive playstyle and hours of content, it’ll keep you coming back for more.
The overall design of the game isn’t intended to be anything realistic, but more of a cartoon-esque style. As Hutch Games’ tagline for the game goes, it’s “everything you love about Hot Wheels brought to life in an awesome racing game.” Colors are vibrant and there’s an immense amount of detail that’s gone into both the cars and tracks you’ll be racing on.
The cars look really nice and the track is the classic orange Hot Wheels track; however, most of the detail is put into the scenery behind the track. The game has 40 levels, broken up into four sections with ten levels each. With each section, you’ll have much of the same scenery. For example, the first 10 levels are based on a city skyline, while the second section is more mountainous with a desert terrain. The third section is a fairly urban setting and the fourth section is essentially a forest. Like we said, there’s a good amount of detail that’s gone into this that keeps everything looking nice.
The gameplay is, of course, the real crux of the game. It’s fairly unique compared to other racing-based Android games. You race against an opponent, having brake and accelerate controls to the right and left of your screen, respectively. The goal is to be the first at the finish line in record time all while making sure your car stays stable. For instance, if you accelerate enough with some height, you can get a few stunts in during your airtime, but if you do it a little too much and land upside down, your car explodes and you have to start over. So, you use both the brake pedal and the accelerate pedal to land on your feet — or wheels — to continue racing.
It’s not an easy game either. The levels are difficult from the get-go. It gets even more difficult when you’re trying to obtain the three star rating on each level. You’ll quickly come to find out that you just can’t do that with the standard car at its standard configuration. So, you have to run a few races in order to obtain coins that will upgrade your speed, grip, stability and tilt. When you max these configurations, and with some extra skill, you’ll be able to really have a shot at obtaining that 3-star rating.
Often times the game will give you free gifts, which is usually gems, which are used to unlock a vehicle early. There’s ads in the game, which are usually worth watching, since they double the amount of gems you get in a gift.
At least for the first section of the game, there’s five cars you can choose from for the city skyline section. Other sections give you different cars to choose from; however, to even get to the other sections, you’ll need to obtain a certain amount of stars. To unlock the second section, you’ll need to obtain 20 stars or 2-stars on each of the first 10 levels.
There’s also a multiplayer option, which unlocks after you reach the seventh level. It’s essentially the same thing as playing against the computer, but you’re playing with friends or other people instead.
The game also has a “Gallery” where you can view the collection of all your cars that have been unlocked. Finally, there’s an in-game store where you can purchase gems for real money. A purchase will turn off adverts permanently, and by buying these gems, it lets you unlock cars early instead of having to grind away on the tracks; however, purchasing gems isn’t necessary to beat the game.
All in all, Hot Wheels: Race Off is a fun, free title for Android and iOS. It’s not that feature-rich, but the game is addictive, fun and has content for hours on end, especially if you decide to try and 3-star everything.
Download it now: Google Play