Brakes Are For Losers – Review
Follow Genre: Race
Developer: Oudidon
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Brakes Are For Losers – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Unique racing game
Bad: Difficult to master
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Race games have always existed and although now it’s often a competition between the most realistic graphics and a unique play style, people often still enjoy retro games because they are unique in their own way and can also be used to relive their childhood. Brakes Are For Losers is a racing game that is retro-inspired and brings a unique concept of top-down racing to the table. The game has been developed by Oudidon and published by Plug In Digital and we got a chance to test the game out on the Nintendo Switch. So with our trusty Joy-Cons in hand, we got to find out why brakes are for losers.

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Story

There isn’t really a story present in Brakes Are For Losers. Since it’s a simple retro race game a story isn’t really necessary. You simply race or complete challenges in the typical arcade style. Play alone or with friends but remember there are no brakes as brakes are for losers!

Graphics

Brakes Are For Losers has an HD retro arcade style. The game also has a unique top view racing style which is very different from other first or third person racers. There are 8 different race cars you can choose to race with. These cars aren’t very big but luckily have pretty different styles so you can at least tell them a bit apart.

There aren’t that many racetracks available but the ones that are available are well designed and have extras that fit in with the theme, for example in a pirate themed level there are pirate ships present that shoot cannonballs at random. Sometimes there is a lot going on in one race and since everything is so small it might be hard to see what’s going on. Especially in TV mode, it can be hard to tell where your race car is and what just happened. Luckily you can just play the game in the handheld mode so you don’t have to sit too close to the TV.

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Sound

The music featured in the game fits in perfectly with the retro theme of the rest of the game. There are a few different tracks available that each fit in with the theme of the track and gets you pumped up for the race.

There are quite a lot of sound effects present during the game and sometimes they even happen to trigger at the same time. Some tracks have their own sound effects like canons firing or water splashing up. Then there are also items on the ground that have their own noise. When starting a race, you get a typical countdown by not only a traffic light but also a by people counting down from three to one.

Depending on where you end up in the race you get a different response. If you end up in the first place you get honking and a loud applause but if you end up in the last place you get about one person clapping and a goat or sheep sound.

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Gameplay

Brakes Are For Losers is a retro-inspired car racing game. You race in a top view style which isn’t necessarily easier. The tracks aren’t that big but the cars are even smaller. It can be quite hard to keep track of your car even if they look nothing alike because they are so small. One wrong move with the joystick and you could have bumped into a wall and are now going the wrong way without noticing. In TV mode with the Switch, it’s even harder to keep track of your car unless you sit really close. If a fly would land on your car it would disappear that’s how small the cars are. Luckily the Switch can also be played in handheld mode what can be quite useful for this game.

When playing BAFL there are several modes you can choose to play. The developers really weren’t joking when they named their game “Brakes Are For Losers” as even in the “menu” you have to drive your car into the right street to select what you want to play. All this without the option to brake or stop. So you can only drive in circles trying to not make a wrong exit as you figure out what you want to play. The two main options you can choose between is if you want to try and complete challenges or just want to race. When you choose to take on a challenge, you can choose between either Time Attack or Perfect Race for different tracks. In Time Attack you try to beat the best time for one lap and in Perfect Race, you try to complete a lap without bumping into anything. Once you complete several challenges you unlock even more of them.

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If you just wanted to race, alone or with friends, you get to choose between the Championship, Quick Race or Custom Game. In the Championship you compete for first place over ten tracks. In-between each of the ten tracks you get a chance to upgrade your car. Choosing the right upgrades is quite important because it can help you give that extra to win. You always get 30 coins to spend, with some upgrades costing 20 and others 10. Sometimes you can have more money if you picked some up during the previous race.

In Quick Race, you compete in 60-second races without the chance to upgrade your car. Custom Game lets you customize your race a bit. Sadly, the tracks are still randomly picked for you.  When you have played the game modes several times especially the Championship it becomes quite clear that there aren’t that many tracks available. Hopefully, more tracks will become available so that there will be more variety in the game.

There aren’t that many controls that you need to keep track of in BAFL but it’s still pretty hard to master your car. You use the joystick to steer the car, the A button to use nitro and the B button to honk. Those are the only controls given to you. A tip does appear that there is a special way to take turns but it’s quite hard to master this since you need to time it right. To be able to play BAFL in a decent way, it’s best to keep trying and see what works.

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During the race, there are several things you can pick up. Most of them will do something to your opponents and give you more of a lead or give a chance to catch up. Some of them only affect you, for example, an extra nitro boost or a repair boost. The repair boost is quite handy so you don’t have to stop at a pit stop too soon. If you bump too much into other cars and/or walls your “health” goes down and you will wreck if you don’t get it repaired. Wrecking your car causes you to be unable to move for a small time which could cause you to lose the lead. Although being in the pit stop could also cost you the lead so strategy is key.

Conclusion

Brakes Are For Losers isn’t a bad game but it can be hard to figure out since so much is happening at the same time. On the Switch, it’s also easier to play in handheld mode so you can keep better track of your car without having to move closer to the TV. The controls are a bit hard to get the hang of and if you do one wrong move it can still make you lose. If you really like racing games and want to try a more unique and old school one, then Brakes Are For Losers might be a perfect choice.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Brakes Are For Losers - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! 😀 -student multimedia-

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