VSR: Void Space Racing (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Shane Jury 29.09.2018

Review for VSR: Void Space Racing on Nintendo Switch

As one of the Nintendo Switch's more notable supporters, Poland-based publisher and developer, SONKA Games, has a number of projects on the go for the system; a number of which have already released, like The Way: Remastered and Astro Bears Party, and with upcoming games such as Hotline Trail and Ultimate Fishing Simulator, the eShop looks to be well-stocked for quite some time. A more recent release from SONKA is VSR: Void Space Racing, itself an ambitious take on how speed courses could work in the cosmos, without barriers or gravity to streamline the process. Is Void Space Racing a first place winner or a back of the pack loser?

Void Space Racing takes little time in getting players into the thick of the action. There's no narrative structure here, itself admittedly a rarity in many racing games regardless, and the initial loading screen of control explanation and the 'How to Play' section of the main menu are designed to abridge the tutorial stage as much as possible. The latter part of the game is essential, however, as Void Space Racing packs a notable difficulty curve in learning its mechanics and structure; something best done in this mode, which offers unlimited trial time and no AI opponents as distractions.

Screenshot for VSR: Void Space Racing on Nintendo Switch

Due to its more unique premise, Void Space Racing takes time to adapt to, as there are no track boundaries and little in the way of obstacles to impede progress. Instead, it takes a careful balance of acceleration and brake control to gently but quickly drift a ship through the ringed checkpoints making up the track's general direction; missing too many of these fails the race, and taking too long to reach them allows the opponent racers to pull significantly ahead. The AI racers, in particular, are strikingly tough to begin with, even on the easiest settings, which doesn't help the difficulty curve.
Daunting on first and second try, this racing system is boosted greatly by the crosshairs feature that becomes a godsend in lining up positioning and where the ship is headed. What starts off as an unfairly restrictive way of racing becomes incredibly satisfying and even quite fun when all the functions line up, and then utterly euphoric after the first race win. HD Rumble adds a pleasingly authentic engine vibration to races, as well, and the distinctly catchy electronic score is a pleasure to listen to.

Void Space Racing is among the cheaper listings of the eShop catalogue, and as such its content is sadly quite limited. There are modes aplenty, with split-screen multiplayer and online leader-boards for each course through the Time Trials feature, but the actual number of tracks and ships to choose from is wholly restricted. Each course does have its own distinctive aesthetic, be it asteroids, planets, or space stations to roam around, and both the visuals and frame-rate of said tracks are sublime and silky smooth, but there being only eight of them and three ship designs to select greatly hinders replayability. Void Space Racing is a solid concept fully realised in practice, but without the filling to keep purchasers coming back for more.

Screenshot for VSR: Void Space Racing on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

What begins as an arduous system to control, in time becomes a pleasure upon first race win, and the hidden depth of VSR: Void Space Racing's frictionless competitive courses is fully revealed. Offering a unique take on the racing genre as a whole, the biggest stumbling block, aside from the steep learning curve, is how little of the game there actually is, track and vehicle-wise, even with the low price-tag in mind.

Developer

SONKA

Publisher

SONKA

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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