Neodori Racing is an arcade-style racer. Developed by Strobetano and published by Crescent Moon Games, Neodori Forever may not take racing to the next level, but its retro-inspired design and classic gameplay certainly have character and makes this otherwise simple racing game stand out.
Neodori Racing takes a lot of cues from much older racing titles like Pole Position and Outrun. But it also infuses some a bit of the new by adding our current love of drifting and old-school JDM classic-inspired vehicles. None of the vehicles however are licensed, but you can obviously tell what they were influenced by.
There are 25+ vehicles you can play as, but you only start out with one and you need to unlock the rest by purchasing them with in-game credits. This is mostly done by collecting gold coins you see on the road while you race. It’s not hard to collect a lot of coins, but it will take some time to unlock all the cars available.
Graphically, the game looks fairly decent and while the art is pixilated and retro-inspired, there is a surprising amount of detail that can be seen. Everything is mostly colorful with bright pallets. The soundtrack is also very good and has that Euro-beats-inspired vibe to it similar to what you’d hear when watching an episode of InitialD.
In terms of gameplay, this is where the game could have been a bit better. The racing is pretty simplistic here with minimal controls. Your vehicle is always moving forward and there isn’t an accelerator or brake pedal. The only items you have control over are left and right movement, drifting, and a speed boost. Drifting isn’t very accurate and is kind of clumsily executed in the game. There isn’t much control while drifting and you’re either in the drift or out of the drift. There’s no in-between. It would have been nice if the game had more precision controls, especially for speed and braking. Hopefully, we’ll see some updates on this from the developers.
Aside from the controls, the gameplay is basically to get from point A to point B. You need to avoid traffic and road hazards, avoid being caught by the police, and sometimes out-race a rival. You are also limited in the amount of gas you have so you need to collect gas canisters as you drive. The same goes for refilling your boost gauge. It’s a simple gameplay element, though the gas canisters also have a secondary function. They help repair your car as you also lose fuel when you crash into walls and other vehicles.
With that said, Neodori Forever is a neat game in terms of nostalgia. I really like the art style, the inclusion of classic-inspired vehicles, and the upbeat soundtrack. What could use improvement though is the racing. While it is supposed to be simplistic, it could use some tuning, especially when it comes to steering and speed control. This would make the game tighter in my opinion. Again, hopefully, the developers can tighten up the controls a bit to what is otherwise a pretty decent racing game.
Disclaimer: Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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