It’s beautiful in its simplicity, isn’t it? In 2000, a company called Agetec published a PlayStation game with the simple title To race as part of the budget A1 Games label. It’s absolutely as terrible as you’d expect, but the total lack of any defining qualities is loved it for me for years.
I picture the title screen in my mind’s eye—with a blurry Porsche 993 present or not in-game and the name atop the Times New Roman font—and I giggle. Sometimes even in public!
Here’s the cover:
Is there a Lancer Evo V in it? To race? Damn if I know. I actually have no idea how many cars To race because I told myself I wouldn’t play the game for more than five minutes and wasted more of my colleagues’ time than was absolutely necessary. (To the editor reading this: I’m sorry.) I was only able to drive the “beginner” car, the only option available when you start playing the game. It is very slow and looks like this:
That’s neither a 911 nor an Evo. At first it seems that there are only two songs: “Short” and “Long”. But a quick read of the “Tutorial” (which is really just some basic instructions) reveals an exciting secret third locale: Mirror. I’m not that far yet.
The tutorial is packed with useful information, so it’s a good idea to upshift when the rev counter reads “around 700 RPM”. I think this principle applies to all cars.
This is what Short looks like:
And this is what Long looks like:
You spin a lot in this game, despite the colorful, cartoonish atmosphere. This is what happens when you’re done:
The A1 Games label was slapped on a variety of budget titles initially launched in Japan under the Easy series. In Japan this game was called Simple 1500 Series Volume 13: The Race. That cover is actually kind of badass, in a cryptic way.
If we take a closer look at the Porsche imitation, those headlights look like they were 996 . are fried eggs on a 993! Fascinating.
The rest of A1’s output contains hits Like it Billiards, Snowboarding, Tennis and Shooter Space Shot. The latter must have made them feel real.