I was curiously intrigued when I first heard about developer Timbo Jimbo’s Static shift racing last week. The premise was that it’s an open-world street racing game with a heavy 90s vibe in terms of vehicles and style, and there’s a huge emphasis on customization with thousands of parts and upgrades, so every racer can create their own ride, just the way they like it. that will. like it. It sounded hugely ambitious for what seemed like a fairly small studio, so I thought it was going to be either a big hit or a big flop when it finally got released.
We will, Static shift racing launched globally this week and I’m happy to say it falls much more on the side of a success. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a long way to go in many ways, but what’s out there at launch is hugely impressive and, more importantly, hugely fun. As mentioned earlier, you’ll be roaming around an open world and competing in different types of races, and this is one area where the game feels like it could use some expansion. The environment isn’t as big as your typical open-world game, but it’s incredibly detailed with lots of well-designed roads that will act as different circuits in the different events.
Then there’s the vehicle selection, which there are only 5 to start with, but those 5 are quite different from each other and have quite a few customization options to explore. Again, the level of quality and polish here puts many larger studios to shame. Everything is linked to a general progression system for both your driver and your different vehicles. This is the part of the game I really got sucked into. Earning XP, unlocking new parts, plotting your ride with the new gear and then going back to race some more is a very satisfying game loop. It’s like playing a loot-based dungeon crawler, except it’s a street racing game, and it’s awesome.
Also worth noting is that the racing itself is super fun. Very arcadey and very drift oriented. It can feel a little shaky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s extremely satisfying to carve through corners completely sideways as colored smoke rises from your tires and blasts tunes from the speakers. I think the developers went for a very specific vibe Static shift racing and I think they certainly got it right.
With all these positives comes a negative. First and foremost is that there just needs to be more play here. More open world areas, more vehicles and more event types. To be honest these are all things that are supposedly already in the works and will be coming soon but I’ve seen way too many games make promises they never kept so the proof will surely be in the pudding if the pudding actually materializes is going to be . The second is that this is a very free-to-play game, with a ticketing system for entering races where the tickets are on cool-down timers, as well as two types of in-game currency. So far none of this has been a problem, but that’s how they always start, right? Long term remains to be seen.
That said, the good definitely outweighs the bad here, and as jaded as I’ve become over the years, I’d like to think that this is a developer who’s just passionate about a very specific type of racing game and has turned it into a of savage make their own, and just try to negotiate the troubled waters of mobile gaming as best they can. What’s here today is a very, very solid foundation for something that could become really special, and the fact that it’s free at least means anyone can try it out for themselves to see if Static shift racing let their own engines rev as much as they have done for me so far.