Cyber Spin FI

SNES A Day 109: Cyber Spin


Approximate Release Date: November 1, 1992
Genre: Racing
Developer: Takara
Publisher: Takara

It’s refreshing to see a racing game of this era not even attempt pseudo-3D. Thanks, Cyber Spin!

The most consistent problem I have with racing games on the Super Nintendo is they don’t feel fast. That’s primarily because the SNES can’t render environments fast enough to achieve that illusion. Cyber Spin gets around that by going with a top-down perspective, reminiscent of Bump ‘n’ Jump or Spy Hunter. It’s not the most impressive game visually, and it is hard to react to sudden turns quickly enough, but that’s an acceptable tradeoff.

Cyber Spin‘s twist is the Power meter. By pressing the X button, your car activates a nitrous boost and depletes the Power meter as the button is being held down. However, running into walls or crashing into other racecars will also affect the Power meter, and if you run out the race is over. So do you try to space out your boosting through the three laps or do you use it all at the end? It’s a neat tactical choice that makes you think before using it.

I really like Cyber Spin, but it could stand to be easier. It took me a couple tries to successfully qualify for the first race. I haven’t even won that race, so I’ve found myself at an impasse. The other Cyber Spintestants are brutal. One tap spins my car out of control while they continue racing their near-perfect lines. Playing the same track, again and again, is making me hate the song for this track. It’s a good racing tune, but I’ve been on this same level for too long.

At least when you retry, you don’t have to requalify.

That’s all you can do. Retry. Or quit back to the main menu to redo qualifying, I guess. There are no other modes or features. I don’t care for time trial modes much myself, but the fact that’s missing is weird. You can race against different models of cars, but you can’t alter yours in any way. I would normally knock Cyber Spin for not including a multiplayer mode, but the style of racing doesn’t lend itself to splitting the screen.

I would love to see more racing games like Cyber Spin. Not only is it different from the norm, but it also takes advantage of the weaknesses and strengths of the SNES to make a gosh darn fun racing game. But this is a barebones game and a hard one at that. I would like to see more, but I don’t have the time to get good at it.

Tomorrow: Get this. Imperium is a game where you shoot stuff. Innovative!

One thought on “SNES A Day 109: Cyber Spin”

  1. There’s a GBA game called Bomberman Jetters Game Collection that has a minigame of racing in it. I’ve always wondered about that minigame, so I did some broader searching for Hudson Soft racing games. I bet one came from the other. The main mechanic I liked from the GBA minigame is drafting. I don’t see it in your video.

    You can see it starting at 3:28 in this video:

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