Developer: SC Jogos | Publisher: SC Jogos | Release Date: 2018 | Genre: Casual / Racing / Indie | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam
With everything from hyper-realistic simulations to casual arcade racers, PC owners are spoiled for choice when it comes to driving games. Barro is a small indie title that very much falls into the latter category with little cars and a selection of ramp-filled tracks. The game offers three game modes, Arcade, for racing against up to three CPU racers, Time Trial, where players race alone against the clock for the fastest lap times, and Multiplayer, which offers local split-screen racing for up to two players. It is a rather barebones selection, but at least it has a very low price tag to match. One thing to watch out for is that the game contains a ton of Achievement span, so the first few races will be spent with a hundred achievements popping up for no rhyme or reason. Once this is out of the way the remaining achievements are for actual accomplishments, such as finishing races, but having to sit through those initial ones is a bit annoying and unnecessary.
Barro was created in Unity and like the actual gameplay everything from the user interface to the visuals is about as simplistic as you can get. The game offers players four cars, each with four color schemes, but the differences between them are purely cosmetic. All the tracks feature the same theme as well, so players can expect to see lots of brown canyons with the occasional smattering of green trees or cacti. The game initially shipped with ten tracks, but a few more were added later. Unfortunately, even with three difficulty levels, most players will be able to complete each track in first place on their first try. Since there’s nothing to unlock the Arcade mode boasts very little replay value.
Before jumping into a race there are a few things that players can tweak in Barro. By default, races last for three laps and are set during sunny weather, but this can be changed. Laps can be set up to a maximum of 999 and players can opt to race at night, in fog, or when it’s raining. These changes only influence the visibility of the track, which can make racing slightly trickier, but visually it still looks very unimpressive. Players can also choose to race against one, two, or three opponents, with four cars being the maximum that can be on the track at once.
The barebones approach to the game extends to the audio with only some menu music, an announcer at the start of the race, and some droning engine noises as well as tire screeching rounding at the package. The game does not feature any type of in-game music to accompany players as they wind their way around the similar-looking tracks. Thankfully, the volume levels for these can be adjusted independently. Barro can be played with a keyboard or controller, but the arcade-style handling means we rarely had to let go of the throttle even on the windiest of corners. Cars stick to the road like glue around corners and can also be rotated mid-air during some of the big jumps that are featured on each track.
Even with the small number of opponents the collisions in the game feel very wonky, but they are so slow even on the highest difficulty that this is only an issue at the start of the race. For most of the tracks, we rarely saw our opponents, except in the rear-view mirror. Speaking of views, Barro features a total of three different camera views, but whether players opt for the first-person or two external views, the game never feels very fast. In addition, the first-person view makes it even more obvious how the cars are simply boxy shapes with wheels floating detached beneath them.
Apart from the budget price one of the things that might make Barro appealing to some players is the inclusion of the split-screen multiplayer mode. This mode can only be played locally, but players can choose whether to split the screen horizontally or vertically. Racing against a real opponent is a lot more challenging and rewarding than beating the CPU racers, but the lack of online play will limit the appeal. The game does have leaderboards for the time-trail mode, which means it will probably be where most players spend their time. Unfortunately, with so many other better options available on Steam it is hard to recommend Barro even to the most diehard of fans.
- OS: Windows 7 SP1+
- Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: Graphics card with DX10 (shader model 4.0) capabilities
- Storage: 2 GB available space