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|Release date(s)||September 13, 2007|
PixelJunk Racers is a puzzle, racing game developed by Q-Games for the PlayStation 3. It was released on the PlayStation Store on September 13, 2007 as the first title in the PixelJunk series. An updated version, PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap, was released on August 24, 2010.
Bearing structural similarity to slot car racing games, the tracks of PixelJunk Racers consist of five separate lanes within which the cars move. The camera is always fixed above the circuit, giving an aerial overview of the entire track. The commands a player can execute are; changing lanes, controlling the throttle, and honking the horn.
There are 32 gameplay modes available out of 16 core modes. Core racing modes have up to three levels of difficulty (Normal, Turbo and Master) varying with the speed of the gameplay. There is a total of 10 tracks on which each mode can be played.
The single player mode includes a tournament, free racing (Quick Race), and Score Attack. In Score Attack, the player's best score in any mode is ranked online, and scores appear on PlayStation Network leaderboards. The multiplayer mode is exclusively offline, and up to seven players may simultaneously play the game on the same console.
PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap, an enhanced version of Racers, was released in August 2010. 2nd Lap was made available for free to players who had already purchased the original Racers. 2nd Lap includes new game types, trophies, and a "Ghost Attack" mode in which players can race the recorded "ghosts" of any online player with registered high scores.
Upon its release, PixelJunk Racers received mediocre reviews from game criticism outlets. The variety of gameplay modes was praised by some critics, though IGN asserted that the "diverse game types can't quite save the core mechanics", calling them "aggravatingly repetitive". The difficulty of the game in general was unappealing to many reviewers. In a review from 1UP.com, a phenomenon was noted in which the enemy cars would fill up all five lanes, making them impassable. Gameplay instances such as this were described as "controller-hurlingly frustrating".
Another significant criticism stems from the lack of online multiplayer capabilities. The only online component of the game involves comparing high scores with other players. However, PixelJunk Racers does support up to seven players offline; GameSpot suggested this feature would make it an enjoyable party game, even if organizing a seven-player session in one area could be considered a hassle.
- "PixelJunk Racers page on Playstation.com". SCEA. Archived from the original on November 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-26. "16 core racing modes with varying degrees of difficulty for a total of 32 modes [...] Full HD at 1080p [...] Speed through 10 richly detailed courses."
- "PixelJunk Racers Review". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "PixelJunk Racers for PlayStation 3 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "PixelJunk Racers review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "PixelJunk Racers Reviews". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "PixelJunk Racers (ps3:2007): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- PixelJunk Racers' Official website
- PixelJunk Racers 2nd Lap's Official website
- Video on IGN
- Video on N4G