‘Ello Time Wasters!
It’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed a racing game, so this week I dropped the puzzles and adventure to give one a try. My search led me to a game called Paintball Racers and it’s exactly what you’d expect: racing to number one while trying to shoot people with paintballs. Although the game is simple (it is a racing game after all) it’s still engaging, to a point.
I’ll start by talking about the key factor of this racing game: the paintballs. You’ve got fire paint, freeze paint, electric paint and oil paint, each one stalling you or your fellow racers whenever they’re hit with one. You only have so many of these paintballs, so you have to use them wisely. Fortunately, you can gather more up as you drive, up to a cap that is.
Speaking of the ammo cap, it’s one of the things that can be upgraded on your car, along with tire size, health and turbo boost. Each of these upgrades is pretty self explanatory. Besides purchasing upgrades though, you can also use the money you earn in level to buy new cars to upgrade and extra boosts for single race use.
So we’ve got upgrades and boosts, but what about the tracks and controls? Well, in Paintball Racers you are looking at your car from a side-scroller perspective. You drive forward and backwards and have to keep your car balanced so that in jumps or ramps it will land on its tires (although you can also do flips to earn back used turbo). The buttons you use for all of this (including your jump and turbo) take a little getting used to, but a few tracks in and you’re golden. At least you don’t have to worry about controlling your gun because it only has two positions: straight behind you and straight ahead. The gun doesn’t lock on to your enemies, so shooting your opponents when you’re not on flat ground can be a pain, but that’s where the skill comes in.
As for the tracks, they’re littered with junk, ramps, hills and other random stuff that you have to master maneuvering around. Thankfully they’re still straight forward enough that they don’t frustratingly impede your progress, and they look nice. The game just looks nice in general to be honest.
Unfortunately, the one thing wrong with Paintball Racers is that it’s not at all balanced. I beat the whole game only using the first car, and when I upgraded it all the way, I just bought a speed boost at the beginning of each level to win. These single-race boosts make it easy to keep in first place, since they double your ammo cap, health, speed or turbo depending on which one or ones you buy. It also made buying the other cars pointless when my first car won me the whole game; not to mention that the larger cars are more bulky, and I found that I could get out of pileups mid-race and complete flips a lot easier in my smaller car than in a larger one.
Despite the game being pretty easy to win, it was still fun to play if only because of how the physics of the game worked, and because shooting people with paintballs for threatening my first place position was fun. After all, who doesn’t like shooting your enemies and seeing them burst into flame or be covered in ice?
In the end Paintball Racers earns 2.5 GiN Gems out of 5 for being fun, but still being just an average game.