SNES A Day 27: Super Off Road

Super_Off_Road_US_box_art

Approximate Release Date: December 1, 1991
Genre: Racing
Developer: Software Creations
Publisher: Tradewest

It’s impossible to play Super Off Road and not compare it to RPM Racing, of which I was not a fan.

Thankfully, Super Off Road is a much better game, if only because it lets you see the entire track at once. This zoomed-out view means the cars don’t need as much detail to look good, so the tracks have a good amount of variety to them. There are puddles to drive through, ramps to jump, and hay bales to plow through. It won’t wow you, but it won’t distract you either.

It helps that the cars are fun to drive. Super Off Road‘s vehicles control precisely enough to not be frustrating but squirrely enough to be unpredictable. The cars fly around the track and bash against one each other, so it looks like a bunch of tiny radio-controlled cars racing through a sandbox. But one of my favorite mechanics is the nitro boost system; you can press a button to get a boost of speed, but touching another car gives them a boost as well. It’s an interesting risk versus reward situation.

But Super Off Road suffers from being too simple. In order to progress to the next stage, you merely have to place in the top three out of four. It’s quite a challenge to place fourth for at least the first dozen levels or so. And if you’re playing multiplayer it’s literally impossible to get a game over, since one player is going to place high enough to advance no matter what.

Let’s face it, Super Off Road is a pretty limited game. There’s not a lot of variety here. Its arcade roots are very apparent. But if you just plug the cart in and go, you’ll have a great time for a short while.

Tomorrow: Devo’s favorite video game series comes to the Super Nintendo in Super Castlevania IV.

2 thoughts on “SNES A Day 27: Super Off Road”

  1. I feel that the main thing that this game was lacking was any sense of actual progression. You literally cannot “win” the game, you’ll just end up playing it forever.

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