With a title like Ultimate Racing 2D, it’s understandable to feel a little skeptical of what makes this game worthy of its own title. This stripped-down racing game is accessible and simple enough to get the hang of, but it’s just not as exhilarating, tense or fun as other titles out there.
The content on offer seems impressive at first. After all, it’s said to contain 35 classes, over 300 cars and roughly 45 tracks. On top of that, there’s weather effects, various game modes to choose from, and a slew of gameplay settings to fiddle with. Sounds like a fanciful bundle, though it’s nowhere near as hefty as it claims to be.
The biggest porkie here is about the go-karts, motorbikes, tractors, limos and trucks that you can race in. While they may vary in shape, size and colour, there are actually only ten types of vehicles, in terms of stats. For example, the lowest-tier sports car will function exactly the same as the lowest-tier van. Van no.6 is just as speedy and tight around the corners as motorbike no. 6. You can’t mix and match vehicles, either. Opponents will be riding a go-kart if you’re doing it, too.
As for the maps, there are four different kinds. Karting tracks are full of steep turns, while road courses and historic tracks have strips of road to zoom down. Oval-shaped levels are incredibly simple in design, much like the Dirt Ovals, which are essentially the same shape as one another (albeit only slightly wider or narrower). Even then, they look samey and are awfully generic to race in, and there aren’t any interesting twists that help them stand apart from one another.
It shouldn’t take too much time to come to grips with having to tilt the analogue stick left and right, regardless of direction your car is facing, in order to steer. The real challenge of Ultimate Racing 2D is to fly across the track without making any mistakes, as it’s the only way to win first place against the AI. They seldom make mistakes. Even if you cut corners and bonk a few racers out of your way, achieving first place is a Herculean task, moreso when you’re up against up to 19 other racers clogging up the lanes.
There’s a few game modes to choose from, but the differences between them are minor, like whether or not you need to unlock or purchase a better set of wheels. Depending on which of the game modes you choose from – those being Event, Season, Coin and Championship mode – you may be able to tweak settings like weather, number of laps and the like, respectively. Some will be pre-set, however, and thus cannot be altered. There’s also a multiplayer mode, which works… nothing else to say beyond that, really.
Ultimate Racing 2D doesn’t live up to its own name in the slightest. Each race is a chore to get through, no thanks to the AI’s unforgiving driving skills, the samey selection of wheels, and its unremarkable level design. Don’t get the wrong idea here, it is a functional title that runs well on the Switch and is at least bug-free. It just feels too lifeless and bare to recommend wholly.
Review code supplied by developers at Applimazing.