Nascar Arcade Rush... Reviewed!

Special Thanks to the GameMill team for supplying us with a copy of this game for review. My opinions are my own.

Nascar Arcade Rush takes the world of Nascar and gives it a simple + kid-friendly take on arcade racing, but does it hold up? Let's find out.

Gameplay: Gameplay modes are delivered by way of Solo mode, Splitscreen, and Online.

In terms of gameplay, it's what you would expect in a kid-friendly racing game. The tracks look great, especially the Homestead-Miami Speedway (aka that's my fave). You have access to 12 tracks, each with its own look and layouts to enjoy against the competition. Red, purple, and orange turbo boosters are the name of the game... as you shift around the track trying to maintain a good position. As long as you're hitting the track boosters and recharging your boost as much as possible via the orange boost, it should give you enough juice to make it across the finish line. Just make sure you use it wisely. You have a challenge in both the Rookie & Elite difficulty levels, so start with Rookie (Quick Race) until you become familiar with the controls for handling.

Solo Mode

Cup Series - Is the main game mode where you start and build your career stats as a Nascar driver.

Quick Race - This mode gives you the ability to jump in and race against the CPU racers without the need to race in a cup.

Time Attack - This mode allows you to race against the clock to beat your best times. While I can understand that, I think a cool take on this would have been to allow racers to collect clocks in order to continue going and see how long they could last. We already have modes where we're completing our best times, and so I think this would've been an awesome plus to make Nascar Arcade Rush, even more... arcade-like.

Online Mode - Online gives you the option to race in the Cup Series... which is great and gives the cup even more value because you're playing against other people. Wins are even sweeter. You also get the option of Quick Race in this mode, so that... you can enjoy a race when pressed for time.

In Splitscreen, you get the option to play in the Cup Series + Quick Race. I love the 2 player option for Cup Series because kids don't have to sit out while their siblings or friends race it up. You can actually roll out together.

Tip: One drawback to this game is the use of the boost. It's a gift and a curse. Do not use the boost on a ramp, because if you go too high or too far, you're going to respawn. My guess is that they have a certain area where you can race and if you go outside of that area you... respawn. I can shrug it off in this arcade experience since it doesn't break the game, but consider it a tip.

Controls: I know the team was thinking arcade in regards to the controls, but... I feel like the control scheme for the Xbox controller, was meant for the... Nintendo Switch. The "A" button is mentioned, but I had to use my keyboard to go back (ESC), after using the "B" button on the Xbox controller (as if it were the "A" button) in order to proceed to the next step ahead of actually racing. This threw me for a loop, so I know it would throw others for a loop.

I give two thumbs down to the fact that there is no way to change the button configuration. There literally isn't the option to do such a thing.

Here are the in-game controls for the Xbox Controller):

A button - Look back

X button - Respawn

Left analog stick - Accelerate and Steering

Press the left analog stick in - Boost

Start - Pause

D-Pad Up - Cry

D-Pad Right - Sad

D-Pad Down - Laugh

D-Pad Left - Shocked

Emote expressions change based on the type you select. While I can shrug this off, they should honestly maintain the D-Pad presses for similar expressions instead of placing us in the position to memorize them over again for new ones.

This control scheme is simple and basically requires you to use the left analog stick, and that's pretty much it... aside from the emotes. You run the risk of losing momentum if you try to use an emote because the left thumb stick is how you accelerate... so think twice about it or a laughing emote can go to a crying one really quick (dun dunn dunnnnn).

When it comes to control schemes, comfort definitely has to be in mind for gamers, and the team has multiple buttons to make that happen. It won't complicate things, and in this case, it could actually help. Allow one of the triggers to perhaps be the acceleration or allow the A, B, X, and Y buttons to be the emote selections. It wouldn't hurt to add a controller configuration menu as well.

Now let's get into the replay value because the control scheme here is actually preventing you from getting the full experience.

Replay Value: Believe it or not, the replay value is high in this game. You have 9 cups to take on in the Cup Series, each with 8 tracks to challenge the competition... both online & offline. You start with the Rising Talent cup and earn Cup Points from each race. 100 points unlock the next cup, and then 280 for the next, 420, 560, 720, 890, 1020, and then 1200 for the final. I think fans of NASCAR will eat this up because it gives them replay value while racing their way to the top.

You start out with 4 Drivers, and the additional ones are unlocked at LVL 10, LVL 32, LVL 42, LVL 52, LVL 62, LVL 72, LVL 82, LVL 92, and LVL 99. You aren't buying these as extras, so salute to that. This gives you access to 13 drivers in total once the remaining 9 are unlocked.

You start with 3 Vehicle Tuning Kits, and unlock new ones at every 10 level increases, giving you access to 12 cars once they're all unlocked.

Outside of racing online, and the Cup Series, I think that the Rewards certainly increase the replay value. They actually take things to a new level, because the rewards not only give you additional vehicles, spoilers, skins, exhaust, and all that good stuff, but... you also get specific emotes that go with the various rewards. You activate those with the d-pad during races to show cry, laugh, shock, sadness, and more. You start off with a smiley face (the usual), but you're able to unlock little Kawaii pineapples emotes and all that cool stuff.

As mentioned above, based on the controls being set up the way they are... you aren't going to comfortably set off the emotes as intended while focused on placing in 1st, 2nd, or... 3rd. So the control scheme complicates things.

Replay Value could be even higher through Driver Customization and Vehicle Customization because they're there, but do you know why they don't matter? Do you reallllyyy want to know why?

Well, it's simple. You can't access the freaking options to customize the driver or vehicle customization options. It's like... what?! Is it just there to make people think they have the option, but it was never intended to work? I don't see that being the case, but right now that is the case because the controls aren't set up properly. I'm not able to use LB or RB to navigate through the different options to share the details, and the same even applies to camera rotation. It's a no-go.

That's a lose-lose situation. This is a review of the PC version, on consoles, it could be a completely different story.

These are supposed to be the controls:

Price: Nascar Arcade Rush... comes in at $49.99 on console and... PC/Steam. I wouldn't lay in on the price of the PC version... if everything was firing on all cylinders, but they aren't. All it takes is something like jacked-up controls to alter or ruin a customer's experience when it could be avoided. The good thing is, this can be fixed, but in this state, I'd say it's worth $25 on PC until the controls are updated.

Gameplay 4

Controls 2

Replay Value 4

Price 2

3 out of 5 Cool Points