To start off June, we have some news on another arcade racer software update: Tecnoplay’s Race Craft. This is a racing game released to the European market last year, and has been detailed on the site a few times. While I have not had a personal opportunity to try the game yet, as it was not at IAAPA 2019, I would love to give it the chance if I ever do come across it. Per the map found on the official Race Craft coin-op website, the game has sold pretty well in Tecnoplay’s home of Italy; A few units are also available in the US, Canada, UK, Spain & Israel.
The news about the game touches on a new software update that the company has launched to further improve the experience, called Race Craft EVO. I first saw the trailer on the Tecnoplay Facebook page; As I couldn’t find it elsewhere, and embedding FB videos doesn’t work as nicely or smoothly as a place like YouTube, I took the liberty of capturing the video and sharing it on both YouTube and BitChute. Since I didn’t have the original video file, the appearance is somewhat muddy:
Granted, while it is a direct capture, it only shows the attract mode, and doesn’t detail what’s been added to the game. To find out, I sent a message to Tecnoplay, and Mauro Zaccaria was kind of enough to supply the following data.
He did confirm that it is a major upgrade to the software, where it was going to be unveiled at the Enada Rimini show in April, but that was one of many shows canceled thanks to the pandemic. The software will be included in Race Craft machines that are sold from here on out, although when that will open up is still unknown. The game will be shown at IAAPA Europe, if that event still happens this fall. Mauro also added: “From February to March of this year, we had a 3-4 week location test (one 4 seats and one 2 seater) at different locations in the United States (D&B Pittsburgh and Buffalo; and another one 2 seats in Rec Room Mississauga – Canada). All the test reports were very good! Of course now they has been stopped. We are hoping they will open back as soon as possible…“
Per that information, the game will eventually be available for places like North America in wider numbers – once things settle and locations start buying games again.
About the software:
All of the menus and general gameplay instructions have been improved and simplified, making for a smoother & cleaner experience. Game sounds have also been improved from the original.
Adding to the course selection, EVO brings the total up to 40 courses from the original 15 tracks. This makes it a pretty robust & complete arcade racer, especially compared to other titles on the market right now.
Season mode (this replaces the original “Campaign” mode).
New feature: “Random season”. Choose a random season to race.
Now there are 5 seasons (the original were only 3) featuring 5 tracks each, chosen randomly between 8 tracks for each season (this means that seasons will be different one to another)
New feature: Bonus track – if a player reaches the podium in each track without using a continue, he will unlock a secret track to play.
Hot Lap (new mode)
Essentially a Time Attack mode, the player races against the clock and ghosts (either of themselves when they hit the 2nd track or a previous player) on one of the 40 available tracks. Aim to achieve the best time on the track and reach the top of the rankings.
Remontada (new mode)
The player starts from the box as the last of 8 cars and must try to reach the podium. Mauro added: “A really exciting mode!”
Note that Race Craft can link up to 8 units, although I believe that Tecnoplay sells them in pairs, as shown above. If you look closely, you’ll also notice that they use far more realistic, professional-style steering wheels than any other title in our industry at present, not counting those $50k+ professional simulators, which are in a different class of their own.
What do you think about these changes to the game? Does it sound like something that you would play if you came across it?