Retro Highway Xbox Series S/X Review

By Published On: November 1, 2021Categories: Gaming, Reviews

Source: Gearhead Games

See ya down the road.

These days, people want structure in games to keep their long-term value going. Gamers ask these questions; how long does the story last, is there a New Game + that I can conquer after the main game is beaten, where’s multiplayer? Then, sometimes, you get a game where you can simply coast along and have fun trying out new runs and competing with others for the best time overall. Retro Highway is that game.

Initially released by Gearhead Games for mobile devices, it’s now made its way to Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. While it doesn’t have the depth to overcome more intricate driving games like, say, Forza Horizon 5, it does bring its simple retro experience to the platform with flying colors. For a meager six bucks, you really can’t go wrong with the entertainment provided here.

Hit the Road, Jack

Source: Gearhead Games

The game starts you off simply enough by hitting the road in a single run. The goal is to make it as far as you can while collecting coins and completing challenges. Crash once and, well, it’s over for that particular run, unless you want to spend some coins and try to continue. Honestly, it’s all about trying to get stuff done on the first try, since there are competitive leaderboards that track your best overall time.

Fortunately, Retro Highway isn’t that difficult to grasp. It’s very easy to play, where you control steering and occasionally use a boost in case you feel like getting ahead much more quickly. It’s a pretty simple control system that works on the same level as classic Sega racing games and feels all the better for it.

It does pick up in challenge, though. You’ll have to contend with traffic (and trying to get “near misses” so that you can rack up more coins), as well as new levels that introduce more twisting roads and obstacles to overcome. There are six in all, which seems like a small count, but still does very well considering the low cost of the game.

On top of that, the leaderboards are active, so you can continue to see who’s at the top of the point chain; and there’s cool stuff to unlock, including additional levels and high-performance bikes. Oh, did we mention the jumps are fun to execute? There seem to be a lot of trucks with ramps for this very reason. Just, uh, watch out for hitting signs or tunnel entrances. OUCH.

Not a Bad Looking Ride

You’d think for a mobile transition, Gearhead would have just taken the easy way out with Retro Highway on a console. This is not the case. It actually looks pretty nice, running at a smooth 60 frames per second and providing details akin to your typical Road Rash experience. It actually looks good on a 4K television, despite the fact that its design is clearly inspired by the past.

On top of that, the Sega Genesis-inspired racing soundtrack is excellent, with a number of great tunes to listen to, picked at random, that play as you roll along. The sound effects are minimal, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing here, considering how good the music is.

A Cheap Ride That’s Worth It

Source: Gearhead Games

Going into Retro Highway expecting an intricate game experience isn’t the smartest thing you can do, because it’s built on basic arcade racing principles. With that said, it’s a lot of fun considering the price tag, with its simple controls to grasp, a great presentation (on old-school terms), and just the right amount of content. This is something you can easily pop in for a few rounds if you need a break from your AAA racing, and it could keep you longer depending on who you’re competing with. Just a few more seconds and we’ll have that score…

RATING: 8/10

About the Author: Captain Steve