Franchises like DiRT Rally, Forza and Gran Turismo might be all about realism and hardcore racing but there’s something to be said for the cheekier, plucky racing titles out there designed just to be fun. How better to encapsulate that than with diddy racing cars hurtling around compact challenging courses. There are several pint-sized racers for virtual reality (VR) players with the latest aiming to make its mark in the genre coming from Tea Monster Games, RC Rush.
As the name implies RC Rush isn’t about miniaturising cars but racing remote-controlled vehicles around tracks, with all the chaos and bumper to bumper fighting you’d expect. Designed primarily for VR but with a non-VR component ensuring everyone can play, RC Rush puts a range of micro monster trucks at your disposal with more to unlock as you progress through the career mode.
Initially, RC Rush gives you three trucks to choose from, each with the usual stat variances such as speed, grip and off-road handling. There are no customisation options – not even for liveries at the moment – so if you want a greater selection then it’s all about working through the 100 levels that make up the career, a mixture of race, time trial and elimination events. There are 30 track designs, with later levels offering different tweaks on previous courses.
If you’re playing in VR – as you should be – the controls are split between both controllers so in-game you actually have two remotes which looks a little weird but isn’t off-putting. Usual triggers for braking and reversing, and sticks or thumb pads for steering, so the controls are super simple to pick up. In VR you do lose one option though, the ability to switch viewpoints. Playing on a screen you get three to choose from (standing, behind the truck or top-down cameras) whereas in VR you’re at the sideline the entire time. This does mean that while RC Rush can be played seated, it’s easier to play standing for that better viewpoint. Hopefully, Tea Monster Games will add some more accessibility options during early access, allowing the height to be adjusted or possibly offering alternative viewpoints.
There are some options currently available depending on your skill level. Younger players can switch on automatic steering so all they need to worry about is acceleration and braking. Whilst the full “Pro mode” gives you full control over the vehicle. There’s even a brake helper should you need it.
Out on the courses the RC cars really do feel like you’d imagine, not taught racing machines but bouncy and very lively machines. So the courses make full use of this toy-like realism with jumps and bumps aplenty, as well as obstacles galore to knock out the way or get stuck behind. The very first level is a great example of this, racing around an oval swimming pool, and what do pools have…loads of balls laying around. Going from first to last place because your car is now trying to mount a beach ball is both comical and frustrating. The notable downside with the single VR position was that busier courses were more difficult to gauge obstacles, easily clipping a post or building. Much less likely to happen if you’re directly behind the car.
Get stuck on career mode and you can always head on over to Quick Race for a few laps around the courses you’ve unlocked. Or, there’s Free Roam where you just wander the levels as you please. Tucked away here are some specific obstacle courses that’ll really test those driving skills. A multiplayer mode is planned but that wasn’t available at this time.
Currently, RC Rush is shaping up very nicely considering it’s a two-man team developing the videogame. All the cars and tracks look really good, nicely detailed with plenty going on. The mechanics and physics all seem on point, making it very easy to flip a vehicle if you fudge a jump. RC Rush is expected to launch as a Steam Early Access title on 20th October 2021. As development continues VRFocus will keep you updated on its progress.