In a pure racing game, the guilty pleasure is in seeing how much damage you can do to the other cars. Since Redline Royale (download it here) is more like a racing-battle-royale, there’s no pretense: You’re here for a demolition derby.
Ramming other players — or dealing worse attacks via weapon upgrades — is the real goal here, and will make it a favorite of anyone who logs on strictly to wreck someone else’s world. The best part is these brawls are player-vs-player, so you’re not just beating game AI, but claiming status against real players.
Players are given locational objectives on an expansive map, and have to drive to designated map areas through geographic obstacles like rocks and explosive barrels, but can also take advantage of baked-in boosts such as ramps. Along the way you’ll dodge player attacks from every angle, but unlike other racing games, there’s no guarantee you’ll survive long enough to do so. You’re scored by destroying your foes, while reaching each target zone is just about nabbing loot to stay in the game and keep those after-market mods out of their hands. In the world of Redline Royale, power-ups aren’t about costing your opponent precious seconds to place, but to breathe. Unlike a traditional battle royale, the zone doesn’t shrink, but instead keeps constantly moving. All of this plays out in crisp 60fps that shows off the game’s playful desert-themed graphics.
As you collect trophies, you level up your weapons, armor, and abilities through perks that amplify your car’s advantages or bulwark its vulnerabilities. There are 14 perks in the game at the moment, with badass names like Cold-Blooded (extra-powerful ice cannons to slow enemies down to easy targets), Bounty Hunter (trophy point upgrades when killing opponents), and Ghost (increased nitro boosts). Some perks turn in massive results, like Firefighter, which restores 1+ HP per second… with the hitch that you’ll have to dodge attacks for it to work. Others are more defensive, like Mine Breaker, which diminishes the damage dealt by doughnut mines.
Oh yeah, there are doughnut mines. It’s that kind of fun chaos.
What’s great is that all of the customizations and improvements have to be earned: no shortcuts for rich players here, no features forever locked behind a micro-purchase paywall. Redline Royale is a meritocracy whose rewards are earned in… well, certainly not blood, but definitely cartoonish ka-booms. Grab the loot boxes that offer grab-bag auto parts and coins. The auto parts open up new cars, and daily achievements to collect keys, which can be exchanged for skins, coins, or special season battle passes. Use the coins to get even more auto parts to unlock more cars, almost like you’re building the car from scratch. You can keep multiple vehicles in your digital garage, so death is not the end of a rumble round, and you can switch between them during battle.
Ultimately, there’s a car for everyone, but many must be attained over time through combat. From the nostalgic family station wagon to the hard-charging… food truck? Wow, food truck. There really is a vehicle class for any taste: 20 cars with 70 skins means a wide variety of options to recreate your whip in the most insurance-friendly field of destruction possible. Yes, there’s the classic flaming speed demon design, but also a surprising number of animal options: longhorn hood ornament, dinos and rhinos, and our favorite: baby shark.
And don’t worry if the food truck doesn’t handle the road to your tastes. One of the skins turns a chassis into a hot dog, with burger and ice cream options as well, so you’ll always be able to put the “fast” in food — assuming you’re good enough to unlock them.