There are only a handful of highly recognizable indie game developers on the Xbox LIVE marketplace, and "Milkstone Studios" just happens to be one of those developers. In the past year I've had the privelage of reviewing some of their extremely noteworthy games. They have yet to let me down with any of there releases, and "Little Racers STREET" is no exception to that. This latest top-down racing title has all of the bells, and whistles (features) that you'd expect from an XBLA game, and will possibly have more features added as more purchases of the game are made. I did a thorough playthrough of the game today, and experimented with all of it's features so I could give you (my readers) the lowdown on what the game is all about.
When it comes to micro racing games there have been quite a few titles released on the XBLIG marketplace. Little Racers STREET takes all the goodness of that genre, and amplifies it in so many ways. The way the developers incorporate the street racing style in a simply controllable way is truly brilliant. The game features detailed customization options (color, emblems/decals, stats) as well as a dynamic visual display that is truly impressive for an indie game of this sort. It also features various weather/track conditions (snow, rain ...) that effect how the game plays, and how the cars react. Cars in the game will take damage as you run into obstacles, and other vehicles. The damage to the cars can be tracked by an onscreen meter as well as the nitrous that the cars use for boosts. There are a total of 30 (if memory serves me correctly ...) different cars available for purchase with in-game money as well as some that are unlockable through various challenges within the game. You begin the game with enough money to purchase your first car ($30,000), and can earn more through the races you compete in. The higher you place in the race the more money you will score. Little Racers STREET also features many different tracks that are organized by car rank level (E - A). The tracks vary in length, and structure as well as laps that must be completed.
There are two types of modes currently available for play within "Little Racers STREET". The first mode in the game's starting menu is the "Quick Race". From what I could tell the quick race mode was just a random race in which your car was chosen for you as well as the track. I can't actually recall any options available for that particular mode. The second mode called "Career" is where all the action really is though. In this mode the game keeps track of your progress and worldwide rank (leaderboard) as you complete all of the races that are organized by corresponding (E - A) ranks. Career mode also features a "garage", and a "shop" in which you can customize/paint your cars, purchase upgrades for your cars, downgrade your cars, and sell your cars for money. The tracks in either mode have a specific amount of laps that must be completed in order to place in the end. All of the tracks feature neon blue directional arrows, and glowing red blockades to guide the player where to go.
The controls in "Little Racers STREET" are easy to learn, and execute for the most part. There is a slight learning curve to the game, but if you've played games like "Gran Turismo" then the game's mechanics will be easier for you to adjust to. The breakdown of the controls are surprisingly simple for a game of this type. For car movement you will use the (Left Thumbstick). The nitro/speed boosts can be used by simply holding/pressing the (X, Y, or B) buttons when your nitrous meter has filled up. Since the game is street racing oriented there are some drifting elements to the game and this can be done by pressing/holding the (A) button as you turn curves. Accelerating in the game is done by pressing/holding the (Right Trigger), and braking can be done by pressing/holding the (Left Trigger). These are the only buttons you'll use in the game, and while my description may confuse you a little the game does an excellent job of explaining everything for you.
In conclusion I found this game to be worthy of a five star rating. It's literally one of the best racing games I've played in a long while. I could tell that the developers went out of their way to impress with this XBLIG title. The attention to details such as tracks design, car customizations and weather conditions really prove that they were looking to make an affordable game that gamers could enjoy over and over again. I don't think I found any visual hiccups, are frame rate flaws as I did my playthrough of the game which is a truly impressive accomplishment on the developers' part. The game looks brilliant, and plays equally as brilliant. If you haven't already purchased this game then I highly recommend that you do so. I heard a rumor from a credible source that "Milkstone Studios" may include an online mode if the the game sells well. I'm definitely hoping to see that online mode soon!