High speed, open-wheel racing isn’t hard to come by these days, with Codemasters regularly churning out quality motorsports experiences like the most recent F1 22. They aren’t cheap though, and sometimes the simulation aspect can make such a game difficult to pick up and play on a whim. For those wishing for a more relaxed, straightforward arcade take on proceedings, then the old school style racer Formula Bit Racing DX might be a suitable candidate and it’s pretty cheap.
Formula Bit Racing DX is positioning itself as an addictive racer, with a ton of tracks and a healthy selection of vehicles to boot. So, surely it’s an instant purchase? Well, let’s apply the brakes and not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
Attempting to capture the magic of yesteryear, Formula Bit Racing DX is a fast-paced racing game sporting those classic low-poly visuals. It’s off to a great start due to the simplistic control setup lending itself to the most ardent gamers and casuals alike. The left stick is for steering, one of the triggers accelerates, while the other works the brakes, and there’s a button for a speed boost that recharges regularly. That’s everything you’ll need to learn before hitting the track.
All you need then is to choose your car and hop into the driving seat. What’s good is how ten different vehicles are present, with varying stats for Speed, Boost, Turn and Drift. Depending on whether you need the extra help on cornering, or fancy a bit of an added kick to that boost, it’s up to you what suits your style. In reality, I’m not entirely sure it matters all that much as to which you pick, but I’ll address that in due course.
There are twenty race tracks split across four racing Series’ – Novice, Junior, Senior, and Master – taking you all across the world to compete in GPs. Expect to visit the likes of Canada, Spain, India, South Korea, and many other countries. Each track is unique in terms of layout, with plenty of ninety degree turns to master and straights to boost on. The shortness of the tracks ensures you can finish up a race in only a minute or two generally, which is ideal for quick sessions here and there.
Formula Bit Racing DX is severely let down by the lack of identity however, as the environments surrounding the tracks are utterly generic and bear no discernible resemblance to the countries of origin. The developer, Josep Monzonis Hernandez, has designed a small selection of bland biomes for the action to play out on instead. Essentially, you’ve got a snowy setting, a land full of greenery, and two variations of tropical style places. There’s nothing exciting about any of them, unless you love trees, and then you’re in luck because those are dotted around everywhere.
The gameplay itself is something of a double-edged sword. You see, no matter which of the vehicles chosen, they all handle really damn well and this makes navigating the tracks fairly easy once you know the layouts. The smoothness of the driving is a joy to behold, but it also ensures you’re practically a shoe-in to win every race. Just pick any car, trigger your boost when possible, and the rest of the pack will be left in your wake. Unfortunately, you’ll breeze through the Series’ and then have nothing left to prove after less than an hour – even the Xbox Achievements will arrive well ahead of completion.
There’s no multiplayer element to bring further enjoyment or anything, so you’ll be left looking for something else to play pretty swiftly.
There is one final glimmer of replayability if you look hard enough, but it won’t be enticing for everyone. That’s because the action in Formula Bit Racing DX is available via three different camera perspectives – isometric, top-down, and from behind. Surprisingly, it does feel quite fresh for a short while, trying out each of the options, though as you can tell, it’s a stretch to say this idea elongates the experience much.
All in all, it’s worth remembering that Formula Bit Racing DX is priced at just under a fiver and so, there’s a decent arcade racer here. The varied track layouts present and the easy to grasp controls ensure short sessions of fun can be had, no matter your skill level behind the wheel. The sad part is that you’ll be done and dusted in no time, with minimal opportunity for longevity. You won’t even want to replay the races to take in the scenery of the many places featured, simply because the designs are too generic to look at.
Whether you buy Formula Bit Racing DX depends on what you’re after. You see, Formula Bit Racing DX is enjoyable and will help boost your Xbox Gamerscore, but there’s not much challenge to it and you’ll struggle to find a reason to play it beyond an hour.
Formula Bit Racing DX is now available to buy from the Xbox Store