Hotshot Racing Review

It’s really hard work to launch an arcade-style racing game on a console like the Nintendo Switch. And I’m saying this because of the existence of one of the greatest hits of the genre to be present as its best-seller: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Not only that, but the game beats huge numbers in sales month by month, in fact being a strong competitor for anyone who tries to risk taking him off his throne. Well, I believe that the secret is not to try to take Mario Kart 8 Deluxe from its title of one of the best Switch arcade, racing games, but to live by your side bringing a different proposal.

That’s where Hotshot Racing fits in, a game that came silently, with little publicity or heavy marketing campaign, and knew how to find its place on Nintendo’s console. Developed by Sumo Digital, this arcade racing indie has arrived to be an excellent choice in the library of racing game lovers of this style. But we are not talking about any developer, but the responsible for well-known games like Sonic and Sega All Star Racing, and some participation in Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox 360. In short words, the game was brought by those who understand how something like this is supposed to be made.

I can say that Hotshot Racing is a nice mix between Asphalt 9 and Horizon Chase Turbo, talking about more contemporary games. The gameplay is completely focused on drift and, even without exact takedown mechanics, it is possible to see some elements of this second in certain extra game modes.

There are several options to be selected in the main menu: Grand Prix, Single Race, Time Attack, Online and Local Wireless. The first one works as a story mode, where we can play with up to 4 people split screen, choosing from a generous list of characters and their skins and respective cars. The vehicles have unique attributes and various formats, besides being subject to visual modification, changing the colour palette, adding stickers, etc. There are four championships available, each with a different landscape, such as sea coast, jungle, desert and mountains. Each championship offers four different tracks, besides their mirrored versions, totaling 16 stages (not including mirrored versions).

The structure around here is always the same: get to the checkpoint before the timer runs out to prolong the race until the last lap, while making your opponents eat your dust by getting in the best possible position. The tracks are very well worked in such a way that the drift, the main mechanics of the game, works in an excellent way, preventing the car from crashing constantly. In these moments, the controls are very similar to, again, Asphalt 9 by Gameloft, but with an even greater precision. Drifts are the key to getting turbo bars, which are used for a very powerful boost and increase your speed to the maximum. But we can also take advantage of the car’s vacuum ahead to draft, something already seen in Mario Kart 8, which few games end up doing.

In addition to the standard level of difficulty called normal, there is also hard and expert. These two difficulties not only increase the level of artificial intelligence of the opponents but also greatly adds to the game pacing, making the brakes often necessary. These are really challenging difficulties. Once a Grand Prix championship with a character has ended, new parts can be released for your car or new skins for the selected character are enabled. Which ends up greatly increasing the replay factor, mainly because of the reason the game has an internal store to buy unique items for vehicles and characters.

In fact, money here is easily gained in any game mode. And that happens even online, which brings a real purpose to play all the options available in Hotshot Racing, instead of running just for fun without perspective or rewards. Apart from the Time Attack mode that works in a very similar way to other similar games (race against time), Single Race offers three types of game: arcade (default), Cops & Robbers and Driver or Explode. The second puts you in control of a police car if you get caught, and your task is to chase the other runners during the match. The last one requires that a minimum speed is maintained, as well as crashes are needed to be avoided, otherwise your car will explode and the game is over for you.

In addition to being able to play these additional modes in local multiplayer, it is also possible to do this online. The online mode runs splendidly, without lags or input delay, making use of direct communication between two players (p2p), which directly extends the game’s life since it does not depend on servers to keep the online alive. It is possible to create private matches with friends or in a public way, thus others can join. Despite this, online is often empty.

However.,the good news is that up to 4 people can go online on the same console which makes it very easy to set up a room with the maximum number of players (up to 8 people). Even so, support for crossplay would greatly increase the installed base, and make the servers more crowded.

Hotshot Racing is a game for everyone. It seems that the developers did their homework very well and created perfect strings to keep the right amount between replay factor and absolute fun in this newest masterpiece from Sumo Digital. In addition to being quite fun, the amount of content and hours of gameplay that Hotshot Racing offers is just ridiculous.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to

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Hotshot Racing Review
  • Gameplay - 9/10
  • Graphics - 10/10
  • Sound - 9/10
  • Replay Value - 10/10
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In addition to being quite fun, the amount of content and hours of gameplay that Hotshot Racing offers is just ridiculous.