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Pesky things, laws. Unless you’re prepared to risk life and limb burning up the streets of your local town, those who like racing but don’t much enjoy physical effort of sports have a limited number of ways to get their kicks. Actual cars and race days are expensive, whilst as fun as computer game are, they lack the heft and feel of actual physics in action.

Traditionally that left you with Scalextric and R/C cars, both of which had their issues. That’s where the team at Wow! Stuff came in with their idea for Real FX Racing. Initially a Kickstarter project, Real FX has finally emerged from the murky, much-delayed shadows of development into the light. It looks pretty good, too!

 

Finally Out Of the Garage!

The premise of Real FX Racing is for players to be able to control actual vehicles on a track without them constantly flying off or being attached to slots that limit how much direction you really have over them. By having a flexible synthetic track and cars that benefit from AI assistance, racers stay on the track a lot more and when they do eventually come off, you can simply switch to R/C mode and manually get it back in the game.

The great advantage of that is that it supplies the game with a natural learning curve, as well as a way of letting rookie drivers take on experienced hands, as beginners can benefit from the AI (Artificial Intelligence) whilst veterans go full manual. Alternatively, if you’re on your own, you can practice against a computer pace car until you’ve honed your skills to perfection.

Additional challenges are thrown in by events like fuel spillages and the need to drop into the pit stop, although you can turn these off.

You get twenty track pieces that can big configured into lots of different courses in the box, as well as two cars and controllers. The cars are nicely designed and moderately speedy, and although the controller looks fairly awkward, it’s fine once you get used to it and the sound effects like crowd noises and lap times it plays add atmosphere and fun.

 

Engine Trouble?

Perhaps one of the biggest downsides of Real FX Racing is that the cars aren’t directly rechargeable – they’re battery powered (3 x AAA batteries per car). It’s therefore probably immediately worthwhile buying some high capacity, good quality renewable batteries ahead of time, along with some spares in the event that performance suffers when the cars are eking out the dregs.

Real FX Racing is certainly a more dynamic experience than traditional Scalextric, but currently it’s not as well developed as Anki Drive/Overdrive, though this should change over time. On the other hand, Anki isn’t really a racing game per se, as your control over things like steering is actually fairly limited. You can’t accuse Real FX of that, so harsh comparisons are a little unfair.

The game works better on hard surfaces like wooden flooring because of the softness of track. It’ll manage on short-pile carpets fine, but if the grandparents are a fan of shaggy, thick stuff then it’s probably best to leave it at home. Hopefully the company will continue to develop the game by adding more car models, functionality and track pieces, but in the mean time it’s still a lot of fun.

What’s in the Box…

  • 2 x Artificial Intelligence R/C Race Cars
  • 2 x Artificial Intelligence R/C Handsets
  • 20 x Pieces of Real FX Sensor-Track (1 x Starting Grid, 5 x Long Straight, Pit 1 x Lane Entrance, 1 x Pit Lane Exit, 10 x 45 Degree Bends, 2 x Reverse 45 Degree Bend)
  • Real FX Racing Instruction Manual

Real FX Slotless Racing
There are a few rough edges, but Real FX racing will delight children (of all sizes!) and it brings something different to the race game market.
Design79%
Usability75%
Features80%
Fun85%
80%Overall Score
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