When Tecnoplay first announced Race Craft in 2019, I was filled with excitement at the prospect of a content-rich simulation racer finally hitting the broader arcade market after all these years.
Now available in Europe, this PC-to-arcade port boasts a robust single-player campaign comprised of 15 race tracks, along with three driving modes (“kid”, automatic, and manual) to tailor the experience to all skill levels.
According to previous reporting by Arcade Heroes, Race Craft is rolling back into the limelight again thanks to the announcement of a major software update bearing the EVO subtitle, coming with every cabinet produced going forward.
The latest software improves and simplifies the menus and game instructions to facilitate easier navigation. An enormous sampling of content has been added, as well, including 25 new tracks (for a total of 40) and three new single-player modes.
Season mode will replace the original Campaign mode and allow players to choose from one of five seasons consisting of five tracks each, randomly selected from the eight available tracks for each season. One particularly interested addition is that players can unlock a secret bonus track by reaching the “reaching the podium” in each track without using a continue.
In Hot Lap mode, players race against the clock or a ghost one of any track of their choosing to achieve a fast time and securing their spot on the leaderboards. Since time attack modes are a staple of racing titles, it’s good to see Race Craft EVO proudly carrying on that tradition.
Remontada mode starts players in dead last at the beginning of the race with the goal of surpassing the seven opposing racers and securing victory at the podium. (Apart from the disadvantage at the starting line, I’m not sure what distinguishes this mode from a standard race, so I’d like to try it for myself sometime soon.)
I can’t tell you how tickled I am by the inclusion of so much content in a modern coin-op racer. In the wake of pathetic offerings like Cruis’n Blast and Super Bikes 3, Tecnoplay is showing players that, yes, you can make a rock-solid racing game in the year 2020. Race Craft is the proof.
Even better, it seems that the developer is positioning Race Craft for a strong release outside of Europe, made possible by aggressive location testing.
“From February to March of this year, we had a 3-4 week location test (one 4 seats and one 2 seater) at different locations in the United States (D&B Pittsburgh and Buffalo; and another one 2 seats in Rec Room Mississauga – Canada),” said Tecnoplay representative Mauro Zaccaria, “All the test reports were very good! Of course now they have been stopped. We are hoping they will open back as soon as possible….“
The upgrade was intended for reveal at the Enada Primavera and Rimini Amusement Show in Italy prior to concerns over COVID-19. Here’s hoping Race Craft returns in full form in the coming months.