Racedrome Offroad was developed by Rendercode Games. It was released on March 27, 2012 for 80 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.

Rendercode Games has a history of 80 MSP hits. Concept Car Series 2010 and Avatar Racedrome were both solid releases, and we were really pleased with 2011’s Avatar Karting. Though we don’t do much in the way of XBLIG reviews any more we were more than happy to take their newest title, Racedrome Offroad, for a spin around the track. As the follow up to Avatar Racedrome the game moves things indoors and trades old Grand Prix-inspired cars for a set of wheels akin to dune buggy. Tracks are tight and varied, and two player versus is offered.

Here’s what we liked:

Moving indoors – There’s something to be said for the indoor arena racing theme. It brings a new, more arcade-like setting to the series. The tracks have varied hills and curves–a new feature to Rendercode’s games.

Multicolored mulitplay – The cars can be recolored to the player’s preference, and there’s two player split screen. There you have it.

Here’s what we didn’t like:

Rough gameplay – We want to be clear here: we see great potential here. That being said the gameplay is rough. The tracks have several cheap turns at the top of hills which only serve to frustrate players. Nobody wants to pick up speed only to drive right off the track. The cars aren’t that impressive, but we could have forgiven that if we didn’t have to idle around every turn to stay on the course.

No polish – A certain amount of rough-around-the-edges finish is to be expect with a lot of indie games, but even still things fall short here. Yes, we’re only talking 80 MSP, but we expected a bit more. There are no particle effects while driving on the dirt track, and the voiceovers are rough and need echo or something similar to spice them up. It just feels rushed, even given the plethora of indie games on the market.

We’re bummed. Racedrome Offroad could have been on-par with Avatar Karting, but there just seemed to be a that’s-good-enough attitude on this one. We still expect good things in the future from Rendercode, but until next time this is one you can save your coinage on.

Score: Skip It