#272 Uniracers

Posted: 28th August 2014 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

359th played so far

Uniracers_boxartGenre: Racing
Platform: SNES
Year of Release: 1994
Developer: DMA Design
Publisher: Nintendo

SNES FEST! Okay we get it.

If you’re like us and have followed our exploits, you will know we’ve played quite a few racing games already – and we played more outside the blog. Most of them use standard vehicles – cars are popular, karts and motorcycles are too.

Until today, however, I’ve never heard of a unicycle racing game. Let’s do that today.

Our Thoughts

First – this game was released as Unirally in PAL territories for some reason. I’ve not been able to find a reason why, but there’s presumably one.

Racing unicycles is not what I usually think of as something that would be a speedy race. When you see that the unicycles in the race are unmanned, distinguished by colours (and name, which seems to come with abilities we never entirely figured out) on the screen, you know a lot of the game is abstracted away.

All of that comes down to a game that, while supporting plenty of fun racing, focuses as much on the stunts. You race over what seems like colourful beams (reminding me of straws), jumping to get ahead (properly executing stunts giving you a speed boost, which is obviously a big part) and having fun with jumps, jumping between different levels and going through loops. With the changes of colours, the game feels speedy.

With that, the racing is fun. We intentionally got stuck in multiplayer and had great fun. Aside from the simple races (which are tricky enough to keep up with, having to find the right path for the first time can be confusing) there are challenges like ones to score the most points in stunts. It’s a brilliant little game, a shame that its legal troubles kept it from becoming bigger. It might not be as fast as F-Zero, but has as many tricks, if not more, as Pure. Amazing enough for a new old-style racing game with more going on than it seems at first.

Final Thoughts

One thing that we didn’t mention earlier was a bit of a glitch that we experienced during multiplayer. Player One was normal but for most of the game the unicycle I was controlling as Player Two wasn’t even touching the track. It was a bit annoying since you get speed boosts for successful tricks and I had no idea when I was in the air or ‘on the ground’. Then again in a way it added to the craziness of the whole thing.

Still, it is a novel racer from the people who later became Rockstar North. So how a company went from this to making Manhunt remains a rather curious question.