R.C. Pro-Am

It’s time a play a buggy game.

Review Date: March 23, 2021

Release Date: March 1, 1988

Platform: NES

Publisher: Nintendo, but developed by Rare

Genre: Racing

Anecdotes: I never know just how much variety there is in the racing genre. It’s nice to see all the different takes. R.C. Pro-Am borrows heavily from earlier games in the genre, yet has plenty of its own original ideas mixed in. R.C. Pro-Am feels unique, yet familiar. It’s also the only game I’ve seen where remote control cars (hence the R.C.) are what’s being raced.

Hey, how did they know that would be the score if I used numbers?

Description: Four cars (which look like buggies to me) race multiple laps around a track. The player controls the red one. Each track has twists and turns, plus various things laying on the track such as water puddles, “zingers,” letter tiles, etc.

I won a race!

Positives: The first thing I noticed, as I play these games to review them, is that this game brings a completely different take on the racing genre. The isometric perspective is new to the genre; with it comes some new tropes, as well. The controls are tank controls; left and right causes the car to turn in that direction, regardless of which direction the car is facing on the screen. Many turns are clearly warned so drivers can prepare for them.

Unlike Excitebike, the other three racers actually matter. In order to advance to the next track, the player must finish ahead of at least one of the others to advance to the next track. The player has the advantage of a higher top speed, but it seems that the AI very rarely spins out.

Here a rare time when all four cars are in a tight race. By the way, what is the last digit of my score?

Negatives: There really isn’t much to see in this game. The tracks all look the same and there really isn’t much that changes from track to track, except for the turns and number of laps, which seems like it’s pulled out of a hat.

It says the track is very wet, but the track looks and plays just like any other. I didn’t notice a difference.

Grade: C

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