LifeisXbox’s Circuit Superstars review | Every time I play a racing game, I am reminded of just how bad I am at these kinds of games. And not just regular bad, but still-getting-last-place-almost-every-race-on-amateur-mode kind of bad. It also ensures me that me not having my driver’s license yet maybe isn’t the worst thing in the world. Either way, I still tend to have fun with the occasional race every now and then, so I gave Circuit Superstars a try. Developed by Original Fire Games, Circuit Superstars is a physics-driven top-down racer. Combing arcade-style racing and realistic tactile driving physics, this game offers a whole range of styles and eras of motorsport, ensuring a good time for all players. Circuit Superstars got picked up by none less than publisher Square Enix, so yeah, I got pretty high hopes. Let’s see if this is just another racer game, or if you should add this one to your to-buy list.
ℹ️ | Maui played Circuit Superstars for 5 hours on Xbox Series X. This game is also available on Steam and will be available soon on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
What we liked!
- Feasts your eyes | First of all, I think it’s clear that Circuit Superstars looks absolutely stunning. I fell in love with the cute art style right away, and I think this is what first attracted me to the game. I remember falling in love with the way Art of Rally looked, and Circuit Superstars is definitely a close second when it comes to racing games’ art style! First and foremost, I think the locations in which you race are beautiful. The low poly aesthetic has totally won my heart over in countless games, and it has done so once again in Circuit Superstars. The cars themselves are also quite nice to look at, and seeing the variety and customisations options is really cool.
- Plenty of content | Circuit Superstars offers quite a lot of content, which is definitely one of its strongpoints. First of all, the game focuses on various motorsport disciplines, rather than on just one. Whether you like rallycross or racing with eurotrucks, you’ll find something to play in Circuit Superstars. Second, there are a few game modes available, which is just covering the basics for racing games. Most players will probably start with the Grand Prix, which is a single-player mode focused on mastering all twelve disciplines. These disciplines correspond with the twelve different racing vehicles available. A Grand Prix can be over in 10 minutes, but others can take like an hour. Of course, there is also a local and online multiplayer mode in this game. I was a little hesitant about the online possibilities of this indie game, but I am happy to report that you will easily find players to compete with! Getting a full race with 12 online players is rather rare, but finding a few shouldn’t be a problem. Then there is also a free play mode where you can simply design your own races and compete against friends or AIs. Now, to ensure you don’t get bored, we get to the third point: difficulty settings. With five different difficulty settings, you can always increase or decrease the challenge. And last but not least, Circuit Superstars offers no less than 19 beautiful tracks in 13 locations.
- Don’t give up | Circuit Superstars is not an easy game and will require you to practice your racing skills a lot. When racing, milliseoncds can make a huge difference, so driving the exact right track is crucial. You will definitely have to learn not to crash, and keeping a straigth path. The mix of arcade and realistic racing is what makes this a great game, and on top of that, quite rewarding once you get the hang of controlling your car.
- Weekly Time Trials | Even if you have finished, and hopefully even won, all Grand Prix races, on all difficulties, and you’re tired of playing free play or online, there is still the Weekly Time Trails to keep the gameplay fresh and entertaining. In these, you can score your best lap times on the weekly track and car combinations. Choose a route, get the fixed car, and choose a ghost driver (like the player with the world record), and you’re good to go. What’s fun here is that milliseconds can make the difference between first, second, or third place so you’ll want to continue improving mastering those racing skills all the time!
- Customize in the garage | Every racer game has a garage to pimp the cars. In Circuit Superstar’s garage, you can edit both your cars and driver. The latter will always be covered in a helmet so you’ll never get to see his or her face. However, you can customise the look and colors of said helmet. You can also adjust the rider’s bodytype and suit or choose their pose and celebration act. When accessing the car customisation, you can do your thing with all twelve cars. You can change the livery, design, number, and colors of each vehicle. Who doesn’t want to race with a pink truck with bright yellow tires, right?!
- Pit stop strategies | An welcome additional feature in Circuit Superstars, are the pit stop lanes. You see, when racing, there are three things to keep an eye on. First, there is your fuel, which of course, you don’t want to run out of. Second, the damage your car can take is limited. In my case, my car took a lot of damage, meaning I had to stop by pit stops quite regularly to fix my car. And third, your tires will degrade and as you know, tires are pretty crucial to a car in most cases. Keeping these three in mind during a race, it’s quite important to understand when you need to drive in that pit lane to charge up your car, which provides an extra challenge that I quite enjoyed.
- Music | The soundtrack in the menu is absolutely phenomenal and had me super excited. It’s so upbeat and gets you all ready for the races ahead. My boyfriend walked in at one point, and even asked ‘what’s that cool music’ so that’s when I realised this soundtrack isn’t just fun, it’s really appealing as well. Unfortunately, this amazing sound dies when you start an actual race. There’s no music whatsoever during a race, and the only sounds you’ll hear are the ones coming from a cheering audience, the engines of cars, the crashing of racers against each other, and so on. Even though the sound effects are pretty good, I still missed that insane soundtrack in the back of races.
What we disliked
- No save option | I don’t usually require a save button in a racing game (even if it would be convenient at times), but I did miss one in Circuit Superstars. The Grand Prix races kind of vary in length quite a bit. The first one, the Piccino Cup, includes four tracks with five laps on each track. But if you look at, for example, the GT Supercup, you see that there are four tracks with each twelve laps to complete. While the former doesn’t take that much time, the latter kind of does and there is no possibility to pause in-between tracks. For most players, racing games aren’t played for hours on an end, and you usually spend no more than an hour at a time in these kinds of games. I would’ve loved to see the option to pause a Grand Prix, rather than being forced to complete an entire GP in one sitting.
How long to beat the story | No story
How long to achieve 1000G | 30+ hours
Similar with | Other racers like Art of Rally
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂