HTR+ Slot Car Simulation is an updated version of QUByte Interactive’s very successful mobile game High Tech Racing. It has been available to our PS Vita loving friends over the pond since late last year and now it’s time for all us EU gamers to have a gander.
HTR+ is basically digital Scalextric (other brands are available). It offers 3 different difficulty levels and over 20 tracks, split into three championships that include several challenges such as loops, jumps, crossroads, narrows and high speed curves. You can even build your own tracks with the highly intuitive Track Editor. There are three in-game camera modes in HTR+: racer, top and perspective, and each looks fantastic. The courses, the cars, the surrounding background all look colourful and clear no matter which view you pick.
Winning is everything in this game. Not only do you unlock the next track in the championship with a victory, you also earn coins that you can spend in the garage to upgrade parts and buy new cars. Tracks are even locked to the difficulty level you are playing so if you are breezing through the game on easy you can’t just switch it to normal or hard. I’d recommend working your way through each of the three difficulty levels to farm coins anyway.
The controls for this on-the-rails racer are as simple as its real life counterpart. You only have to accelerate or re-slot (reset if your car comes off the rails). The left or right bumper buttons take care of the re-slotting while acceleration can be done in a number of different ways – either of the thumb sticks or by using the touchscreen. I did initially like using the touchscreen as you are able to control speed more accurately than the thumbs-sticks but quickly switched as I found my hand getting in the way of the screen too distracting.
The game has eleven trophies and all except one are easy to unlock. Dipping into the editor and creating tracks will nab you two easy trophies while completing the Championships on normal or hard difficulty will get you another five. Beating numerous Ghost Mode track times will land you three more trophies. Then there’s that final trophy (Piece of Cake – Unlock all items in the Garage) and it’s a nightmare. To unlock items you use coins that you earn from winning races and some of the top tier cars and upgrades are really, really expensive. And here’s the rub: you can only earn extra coins if you beat your best time so if you set a blistering time on a track and can’t beat it you’re kinda stuck.
If you fancy treating your PS Vita to a new title then HTR+ Slot Car Simulation certainly looks the part and it runs as smooth as silk. While it’s an enjoyable game the downside is that, even with the nifty editor that allows you to create your own tracks, it lacks content needed to provide any longevity further than a few days.
NelMaNo Rating – 6.5/10