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Beach Buggy Racing 2 – A Strong Callback to the 90s

Beach Buggy Racing 2 is a chaotic-infused arcade racer that rings a strong callback to the racing games of the late 90s. Racing around beaches on a buggy (as you’d guess from the name already), tracks are filled with power-ups and ramps for some crazy off-road action, mixed with its own game engine physics which has its quirks and features. Highly reminiscent of the Mario Kart series of racing games that pioneered this style of gameplay, Beach Buggy Racing 2 has a slightly altered approach which gives it its own unique flavor when it comes to arcade racers.

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Gameplay:

Very reminiscent of toy story-type racers from the ps1 Era where multiple drivers being an unlockable option along with various car unlocks were the main progression tools and acted as a gate kept content from people looking to skip the intended progression. Early on, players are given a try out which acts as a tutorial to get the hang of the driving, steering, and power-ups. After the small tutorial which consists of 4 races, players can leap into the world of divisions and leagues which can be treated as the ‘story of the game. The higher the divisions attained, the faster and better the AI’s cars get.

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There are 33 cars and 13 drivers to unlock in the game each coming in with their own pros and cons which allows for a combination of tests with different drivers on different cars, giving the freedom of full control and preference on which car and what driver you want to choose to tailor-fit your experience.

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At the end of each race, you are rewarded with a chest containing parts to upgrade the buggy or upgrades to the power-ups (or both). Chest unlocks are akin to card-collectible games (CCG) which have a timer set (can range from 12h to a day or 2) before they can be truly opened to see the rewards you got. Personally, not a fan of this but understandable from the freemium point of view (more on this later).

The driving physics in this game work well for the type of game that the developers were pushing for, arcade over-the-top but not feeling too unrealistic. The buggies drift or power slide around at high speed turns just as expected and braking does play a role in some turns to take it in the most efficient manner (unlike most mobile racing games where the brake is there just as a showpiece button). Auto acceleration is turned on, so the play does not have to worry about applying gas, only the steering on the turns and dodging/deploying power-ups to influence the outcome of the race.

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Graphics and Audio:

The graphics are extremely well polished and executes the cartoon-animated look well without making it look choppy. Animations are fluid and smooth and the power-ups are satisfying to watch visually as they are being deployed. Player characters are designed well with a good polygon count that does not make it look choppy, and the same goes for the car models themselves, the two most used/looked at things in the game. The graphics of the environment mesh well with the audio in this game as the maps or tracks on which races are held, do have quality ambient sound to match the level design.

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In a racing game, audio is very important as a metric to gauge the immersion level of the track itself as each audio cue such as handbrake, tires screeching, or applying gas have different sound effects that we expect, and Beach Buggy Racing 2 does not fail to deliver on that. Sounds are snappy and do not feel forced or reused which is surprising considering it is not a large game on a handheld platform.

Microtransactions:

Remember the chests talked about before which act as the reward progression to unlock new parts or tiers for missions? Yeah, that aspect in my opinion is the only frustrating part of this game as it does require MTX to be efficient with your time as each reward chest has a usual countdown timer of 12 hours if you do not want to buy the MTX currency to skip it.

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Out of all the MTX options that I see in games, this is personally the one I dislike the most as it is almost comparable to a monthly subscription-based P2P (Pay-to-Play) game with the constant transactions required to keep unlocking reward chests efficiently. Other than this aspect, the game offers no other MTX which affects or influences gameplay mechanics by any means and is purely aesthetic, rekindling some hope.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Free-to-Play Polished GameEasy to play
  • Driving feels satisfying
  • Optimized App

Cons

MTX-gated reward chests (12+ hrs. countdown without it)

Conclusion: 

Beach Buggy Racing 2 is an amazing game that should be tried at least once by everyone using any handheld platform as it executes its idea near flawlessly while keeping things simple. Taking pure racing and mixing it in with power-ups and in a Mario Kart style of play is nothing new, but the level of polish and premium that this game has while costing absolutely nothing is astounding. Easily recommended to everyone, whether a racing fan or not.

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