Uniracers

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Uniracers
SNES Uniracers cover art.jpg
North American cover art by David Harto
Developer(s)DMA Design
Publisher(s)Nintendo
Designer(s)Mike Dailly
Robbie Graham
Programmer(s)Andrew Innes
Artist(s)Martin Good
Writer(s)Steve Hammond
Composer(s)Colin Anderson
Platform(s)Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Release
Genre(s)Racing
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Uniracers, released as Unirally in PAL territories, is a video game created by DMA Design and Nintendo of America for the SNES in North America in December 1994 and in the PAL territories on April 27, 1995.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot.

The gameplay of Uniracers involves racing riderless unicycles around a 2D track.[2] Heavy emphasis is placed on performing stunts. Performing stunts causes the unicycle to go faster on race or circuit tracks and earn points on stunt tracks. The stunts that can be performed are relatively simple, mostly only involving jumping in the air and rotating about a given axis in 3D space. The idea is to be able to perform these stunts quickly in tight situations while landing the unicycle on its wheel to avoid wiping out, which results in the loss of accumulated speed.

The game features nine tours of five tracks each (two race, two circuit, one stunt) for a total of 45. Beating each of the first eight tours requires defeating computer-controlled opponents for each of bronze, silver, and gold ranks. The last circuit features the Anti-Uni as the computer-controlled opponent. During that tour, touching the Anti-Uni causes several odd effects, such as the track becoming invisible, the controls reversing, and the background no longer moving in sync with the actions.

Split-screen two-player modes are available as well, including a league mode that allows up to eight players to compete in one-on-one races. There are 16 different colored unicycles to choose from, each with a save file and customizable name.

The track is made of bars with patterns on them which correspond to the track's properties at or near that point. For example, a solid yellow bar indicates a shortcut and orange/yellow bars indicates an upcoming hazard. There are also various obstacles like speed-ups, corkscrews, loops, twists, and jumps.

Development and release[edit]

Uniracers was known by the working title "1x1" during development. The developers practiced riding real unicycles through their office to aid their understanding.[3]

Lawsuit[edit]

Shortly after the game's release, DMA Design was sued by Pixar for allegedly copying the unicycle design and concept from their 1987 short film Red's Dream. Mike Dailly, one of the developers at DMA Design, commented, "The problem with Pixar was that they seemed to think that any computer generated unicycle was owned by them." DMA Design lost the lawsuit, and as a result, Nintendo had to terminate production of further Unirally cartridges. According to Dailly, "The deal was that Nintendo wouldn't make any more carts so Unirally only sold the 300k initial run". Fellow DMA Design developer Robbie Graham recalled, "They took footage from Red's Dream and compared it to Unirally and the unicycles were virtually the same; this isn't a big surprise as there’s not a lot of ways you can bring life to a unicycle without looking like the one Pixar did. The judge - being the moron that he was - agreed."[3]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
GameRankings78.90%[4]
Review scores
PublicationScore
AllGame4/5 stars[5]
CVG87/100[6]
EGM5.5/10[7]
GamePro14.5/20[8]
GamesMaster89%[9]
Jeuxvideo.com13/20[10]
Next Generation3/5 stars[11]
Nintendo Power3.425/5[12]
Consoles +85%[13]
Entertainment WeeklyB-[14]
MAN!AC77%[15]
Mega Fun81%[16]
Play Time82/100[17]
Player One92%[18]
Superjuegos94/100[19]
Total!2+ (B+)[20]
Ultra Player5/6 stars[21]
Video Games74%[22]
VideoGames8/10[23]

GamePro gave the game a mixed review. They praised the fast pace and "hard-drivin' unicycle music", but criticized the sound effects and graphics, remarking that the backgrounds are clean but boring, and the unicycles "all look identical." They concluded that players should "try this addictive game."[8] A reviewer for Next Generation similarly said that Uniracers is innovative and oddly compelling despite its surface dullness, but that the excitement and novelty of the game wear out before long.[11] Ed Semrad of Electronic Gaming Monthly remarked that "While it lacks the charm of most ... Nintendo titles, there is bound to be a cult following." However, the other three members of the magazine's review crew all gave Uniracers a negative assessment, saying that while the graphics and controls are good, the game simply lacks excitement.[7] Entertainment Weekly gave the game a B-.[14]

Nintendo Power ranked it as the 8th best SNES game of 1994.[24] In 2011, IGN called it the 98th best game for the system.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Super NES Games" (PDF). Nintendo. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  2. ^ Uniracers instruction booklet (Super Nintendo Entertainment System, US)
  3. ^ a b McFerran, Damien (March 9, 2010). "Feature: The Making of Unirally - Whoever said two wheels are better than one clearly didn't experience this wholly unique racing title". Nintendo Life. Nlife Media. Archived from the original on 2020-05-27. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  4. ^ "Uniracers for Super Nintendo". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-09. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  5. ^ Weiss, Brett Alan (1998). "Uniracers - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 2014-11-14. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  6. ^ Skews, Rik (February 1995). "CVG Review: Unirally". Computer and Video Games. No. 159. EMAP. p. 78.
  7. ^ a b Semrad, Ed; Carpenter, Danyon; Manuel, Al; Williams, Ken (February 1995). "Review Crew - Uniracers". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 67. Sendai Publishing. p. 32.
  8. ^ a b Larry, Scary (March 1995). "ProReview: Uniracers". GamePro. No. 78. IDG. p. 72.
  9. ^ Kirrane, Simon (February 1995). "Reviews - Unirally". GamesMaster. No. 26. Future plc. pp. 58–59.
  10. ^ A_Bkdm (17 June 2011). "Test de Unirally sur SNES par jeuxvideo.com". Jeuxvideo.com (in French). Webedia. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  11. ^ a b "Finals - Uniracers". Next Generation. No. 3. Imagine Media. March 1995. p. 103. Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  12. ^ "Now Playing - Uniracers". Nintendo Power. No. 67. Nintendo of America. December 1994. p. 102.
  13. ^ Garnier, François (February 1995). "Super NES Review - Unirally". Consoles + (in French). No. 40. M.E.R.7. p. 104.
  14. ^ a b Strauss, Bob (January 27, 1995). "Uniracers". Entertainment Weekly. No. 259. Meredith Corporation. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  15. ^ Ehrle, Oliver (June 1995). "Spiele-Tests: Unirally". MAN!AC (in German). No. 20. Cybermedia. p. 74. Archived from the original on 2018-11-29. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  16. ^ Noak, Philipp; Appel, Markus (April 1995). "Test Super Nintendo: Unirally". Mega Fun (in German). No. 31. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. pp. 36–38.
  17. ^ Schneider, Ulf (May 1995). "Minimal-Raserei - Unirally" (PDF). Play Time (in German). No. 47. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. pp. 110–112.
  18. ^ Lassale, Guillaume (May 1995). "Tests: Unirally". Player One (in French). No. 53. Média Système Édition. pp. 66–68. Archived from the original on 2017-09-20. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  19. ^ Sanz, Juan Carlos (April 1995). "Equilibrio Sobre Una Rueda - Unirally". Superjuegos (in Spanish). No. 36. Grupo Zeta. pp. 30–33.
  20. ^ Feldmann, Maris (June 1995). "Test - Unirally". Total! (in German). No. 25. X-Plain-Verlag. pp. 20–21.
  21. ^ De Steene, Julien Van (May–June 1995). "Selection - Unirally". Ultra Player (in French). No. 29. Média Système Édition. pp. 20–23.CS1 maint: date format (link)
  22. ^ Barysch, Jan (April 1995). "Super Nintendo - Reviews: Einerlei - Uniracers". Video Games. No. 41. Future-Verlag. p. 113.
  23. ^ Bieniek, Chris (March 1995). "Power Reviews: Uniracers - "...frantic, funny and faster than a speeding bullet."". VideoGames - The Ultimate Gaming Magazine. No. 74. Larry Flynt Publications. p. 62. Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  24. ^ "Top Games of 1994". Nintendo Power. No. 68. Nintendo of America. January 1995. p. 4.
  25. ^ "Top 100 SNES Games of All Time - #98: Uniracers". IGN. Ziff Davis. August 27, 2011. Retrieved 2020-07-23.

External links[edit]