Super Woden GP is the latest racing game from eastasiasoft and developers Vijuda. It harkens back to the classic top down isometric racing genre that was defined by classics like Ivan Stewart’s Super Off Road and Rock N’ Roll Racing. The question: is this bound for the podium or does it run out of gas early?
Gentlemen, start your engines
Super Woden GP is a throwback in almost every sense. The controls are slip-n-slide every turn that the classics used. There is no story at all, only a list of races to attempt. Also, like the games of yore, this game will punish you. Early on I struggled to place any better than seventh. After more than a couple races, I became more acclimated to Super Woden GP particular style of control and I started to do much better. Coming in first is still a struggle, but it is attainable after practice.
Progression in the game happens when you place in the top three of a race. You are awarded one, two, or three stars for your placement. The next race is unlocked after obtaining a prerequisite number of stars. In addition there is either a single race bracket or a series GP set of races to conquer. Later you can unlock rally and endurance races.
One thing I must commend Super Woden GP developers on is the inclusion of local multiplayer mode. It is such a rarity to find couch co-op anything in modern gaming. Kudos to developers Vijuda for the split screen multiplayer.
Reaching the podium
Expect to spend a considerable amount of time to clear all of the races the game has to offer. One mistake during a series GP race can result in disaster and a complete retry of the series. I found it frustrating but completely in line with the old school challenge I would expect from a game like this.
Perhaps, one of the more frustrating aspects of the game is the computer AI. It is the particular brand where all but the first place car drive in their respective line, your car be damned. The opposing cars will bump you off the road, which will come with a considerable slow down. Expect to adjust for their line because they will not for yours.
Luckily there no damage is done to your car from collisions, and no loss of control or speed. The caveat is that there is no upgrading your car in any way. Thus, you will constantly be buying new cars with better stats to continue your ascent through the ladder of races. There is, however, a PP requirement for each race, meaning you cannot take a high level car to a low level race and win easily.
Someone clean my windshield
The graphic style is an upscaled sprite smoothing that results in a pastel type affect. I myself would have much preferred a traditional sprite style. I believe going for a modern R.C. Pro-Am look would have really helped to endear the game to the old school tribe that would play a game like this.
That being said, I really like the effect of the headlights. Little cars running around a dark track with only their tiny headlights to see is really cool. Additionally, I enjoyed seeing the little burnt rubber tracks my tires left as I tore around the track.
Super Woden GP has a great retro soundtrack, which would fit in well with a 90’s era SEGA racing game. Pumped up electronic dance music is what I would classify the music as. If you are a fan of that sort of music, you’ll be happy to hear there is a considerable amount of it.
Crossing the finish line
The developers of Super Woden GP went for Gran Turismo with old school style. It mostly succeeds but is bogged down too by a high learning curve for the controls and computer AI that is suspect. Even on easy mode this is not an easy game. Commitment to learning Super Woden GP’s particular quirks, requires a time sink. If you are looking for a challenge and love the old top down racers, you’ll be right at home. Just remember the frustration that comes with that brand of racing.
Super Woden GP is available on PS4/5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S.
Review code provided by eastasiasoft.