As an 80’s child, some of my favourite early games were Enduro, Chase HQ, Road Rash and Skitchin. These games saw you driving down endless motorways, dodging traffic and often doing races or battling opponents. Retro Highway is a throwback to this style of gameplay and it lands its execution well. As a retro gamer, it scratches a very specific itch.
Riding your bike, you’ll keep on going forward down endless, randomly generated roads until you crash out. Along the way you’ll collect coins. These coins can be used to purchase bikes with better stats for speed, steering and damage but they can also unlock new environments too. Each environment has its unique challenge too. One has wind that’ll blow you off course. The moon is… bouncy! The weird candyworld area has pills that warp the screen if you collect them. The city has bridges and signs to avoid when you leap off ramps whereas another area has roadworks that can throw you off your bike. These are all great spins on a simple “just keep going” philosophy.
Retro Highway is easy to pick up and play and needs little skill to make some initial progress. The is a boost you can use to nip between oncoming traffic and a close call bonus like a shoot em up graze feature to earn additional coins. Its nimble and flows really well. The fast framerate can keep up on PS4/5 too, which was a concern late game.
Its mobile origins are present though in the way of challenges. You are given three at random from a selection of tasks to complete. Drive further, jump more, roll after falling off longer, collect X amount. These get increasingly larger and longer as you complete them and these too provide more coins to move forward. On mobile I assume you’d need to pay to complete them if you couldn’t yourself but you can pay coins to clear them and move on. Most of the achievements and trophies are tied to clearing these so it gives you some direction to aim for.
Direction is really Retro Highway’s biggest problem. There are no races, no time trials on specific circuits, no special moves or leaderboards. Its an endless drive forward against challenges that you’ll eventually be able to just pay off. That’s its main downer. I love these types of games and even I found it a bit limiting towards the end and was ready to uninstall it by the end. It just needed a little spice here or there in the variety or mode department to give it some longevity.
That aside, Retro Highway is a great rose tinted retro racer. If you enjoyed the games mentioned above, you’ll likely find some enjoyment in this one too. I would give a pinch of caution to younger gamers though – you’ll likely tune out quicker than us nostalgic folk and might find it a little repetitive.
A nostalgic return to endless motorway dodging but lands its simple game structure well. If you don't have a nostalgic hue for this type of game though, you might find it a bit limited.
Nails that early 90's endless motorway racing feel.
Different environments have different challenges.
Feels fast, plays fast and can keep up with itself.
Challenge based gameplay gets repetitive and your mileage will vary.
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