From Riptide GP2 developer Vector Unit comes Beach Buggy Racing a free-to-play mobile game brought to consoles as a premium product, stripping out all the free-to-play aspects, rebalancing the game, adding more content and other features such as split-screen multiplayer for $10 on Xbox One and Playstation 4.
My only concerns were how its economy would transition to console and I’m very pleased to report that Vector Unit have done a fine job on that aspect, the economy is fair with players needing to complete levels to earn money and upgrade their buggies, you can’t really see its mobile roots at all, that is how well its been handled [I should note here there are no micro transactions here at all]. Racing, namely winning races earns decent payouts over a large career mode consisting of 9 events across different HP engines which requires you to upgrade your vehicles to keep progressing has no excessive grinding or anything else to get the best out of it.
As a kart racer there is a certain staple of features you expect with that: masses of power ups, hidden routes on tracks, championships, unlock able drivers, different kart and these are fully featured, with masses of power ups at your disposal and all the different vehicle types are available at the beginning for you to choose from, you unlock drivers as you progress through career mode each of whom have their own special ability too.
Speaking of the career mode it has 120 races, with 111 having 3 stars available per race, getting these stars (3 for first place, etc) will help you unlock other races in each event and then completing the 9 final levels which are boss battles will unlock them as a playable character and the next set of races.
As well as regular and boss races there are 4 more types; shooting gallery where you collect rocket or bull horn power ups to earn points by shooting or driving through targets elimination with countdowns which drop the player in last, follow the leader where you need to collects orbs dropped by leader and time trials. The main course of these if you like is the regular races as they make up the bulk of the races but Vector Unit have mixed it up well so you don’t feel like you’re just playing the same thing over and over.
Races are fun and frantic with collecting power ups that can affect the race in a big way you need to try to survive when it’s so easy to get knocked off top spot by your rivals, it makes races enjoyable and I never really minded losing first place late on and it was fun playing races again. The way the difficulty scales with the higher engines means you have to keep your car sufficiently upgraded as you go through or you’ll get left behind. As I said earlier I never really felt like I was grinding when I wasn’t winning every race, I just played again maybe 3/4 times if a particular race felt a bit difficult or I got unlucky with missiles or something before I could move on.
Outside of career mode there are many other things to do, with a massive championship mode of a further 32 races, daily challenges, quick races and split-screen multiplayer with up to 6 players on Xbox One (4 on Playstation 4), there is a monster game here to work your way through and its a pleasure to do so, I didn’t feel like I had too much to do, I felt like there was as much content to sink my teeth into as I wanted because there’s a lot and that choice is great.
Beach Buggy Racing has made great transition from mobile to console with a game that packs in tons of content and choices from vehicles to races and characters, a simple but rewarding upgrade system will keep you racing to play through and is very enjoyable to do so. It’s a simple genre but it’s still a very enjoyable game to play solo or with friends locally which is an area where the game particularly shines.
The achievements are quite hard and will take those who are into that sort of thing a long time to get all of them but if you go for full completion you should get their abouts and some others will take some specific actions to complete but are time-consuming to do.
I can’t rate Beach Buggy Racing highly enough for what it is, Xbox One and Playstation 4 are lacking in kart [buggy] racing games and this certainly fills that gap.
Formats: Xbox One (Played), Playstation 4
Developer: Vector Unit