Circuit Superstars is the top-down racing game from developer Original Fire Games. It’s a very interesting looking arcade racing game that has been in development for a while. I remember discovering the game when it was called the Apex Racing League.
Throughout the years, only a couple of information was provided as updates. Seems to me it might have been in some kind of development hell for a while. However, this all changed when to my surprise the game was picked up by Square Enix Collective.
A Game Reborn
With a new coat of paint, a fresh name and new gameplay videos, the title looked as good as ever. I think the developers really needed the publisher behind them for the final push. Now they are still actively working on the game. Even the early access release was supposed to come out the end of 2020.
Now in the first quarter of 2021, they have released it to the public. You can head over to steam to buy and check it out. It’s a great way to support the upcoming development and help to shape the game with useful feedback.
What’s included in Circuit Superstars Early Access?
You can play singleplayer and multiplayer game modes in the Circuit Superstars Early Access version. Right now there are a total of six cars available. They range from old-school formula cars to GT3. There is even a formula truck kind of vehicle for you to check out.
Similarly, there are 6 tracks available right now. Some of them also have multiple layouts you can experience with. The game even comes with its own system of fuel consumption, tyre degradation and pit stops. Yes, you can experience full-on mini races, complete with pit stops and tactics in this brand new arcade game.
Right now, the AI difficulty seems to be the biggest problem. Most of the time the AI Cars are either way too fast, or just painfully slow. It’s hard to set them up to provide a challenge. Of course, you will improve your overall speed with time, but it would be great to see more options for customization. One scale that goes from 50 to 100 for AI difficulty could be a great solution.
Apart from the single-player events in the game, you can try out the multiplayer. As the game is still in early access this option is quite limited at the moment. Due to these limitations, you can only play ‘quickmatch’ type of multiplayer modes.
In this mode, you will enter a queue, where you will be matched up with random players based on ping. As you can’t really control your opponents this way, it’s not as easy to directly play with your friends right now. After each race, you will be able to vote on three options for the next event. Currently, these options are not randomized but are the same always.
Tip: How to play with your friends in Circuit Superstars? Although private lobbies are not available right now you can try the following trick. In order to play with your friends, hit the ‘Multiplayer’ button at the same time. Considering that you are both in the same region with similar ping, the game will probably put you into the same lobby. If this option is not good enough for you, you can always try ‘Remote Play’.
Good news for those who love local multiplayer. The game includes a split-screen mode for up to 4 players. This way you will be able to completely customize your racing events. You can race on any track you want with any car you want. As the official online multiplayer option is still lacking, this might prove as a good substitute.
Should you get Circuit Superstars now?
As it stands, the options for Steam Early Access are quite limited in Circuit Superstars. For many people, the main gripe is the missing private lobbies. Although we’ve shown you a workaround, you still can’t set up the lobby as you wish. All you can do is a race with predefined options.
Content is also a little bit lacking at the moment. We don’t think it’s a huge issue, but for some people, the included tracks and cars might not be enough. Split-screen multiplayer is included and it works quite well. If you have someone to play split-screen with, then it is a top pick, even with the limited options.
At 16,99€ the game is not a huge investment, but you are not getting a ton of content for your money. We can recommend the game to anyone who loves top-down racing games. The graphics are cute and you can see the love that the developers have put into the game. If your main reason for grabbing this title is multiplayer maybe you should wait a little bit. Sure you can already start playing around with the offline modes, but with the limited multiplayer options and variety, you might get bored quickly.
We hope the development of the game will go smoother than before. As already mentioned in the intro, it took a ton of time for the game to achieve the stat it’s in today. However, today it seems like the game has a great base. If the devs can continue to improve the game and add content we can see a great future ahead of this game. The community is in the need of a great top-down multiplayer racing game. We would love to see this one succeed.