Hot Take: Death Roads: Tournament early access review

Hot Take: Death Roads: Tournament early access review

A gumball of death

I’ve always been intrigued by the infamous coast-to-coast car rallies around the world, and the Hollywood dramatizations of how they can often lead to riches or ruin. I’ve always wanted to try one, but I legit don’t have the time nor the money (but mostly, the time) to actually try to enter one. But I’ve wanted to! I just never will. I’ll stick to watching them.

Death Roads: Tournament takes that premise, a coast-to-coast race in a post-apocalyptic world that would make Mad Max jealous, and throws in a card-based roguelike aspect. I’ve been more into the card genre lately, so this should be a perfect combo. Should be. There are a few potholes in the road, though. Some of the roadblocks within the game, like placement of the cars and the need to expend time and resources just to get them where you need them, are annoying enough that they overshadow perhaps the biggest aspect that I find missing in this game: the speed.

Placement is stagnant, no matter what the animations of the (fairly basic) sprites and backgrounds try to pull off, and interaction doesn’t feel like it’s really pushing me forward. Everything should feel ridiculously obscene, but the card aspect ends up making this feel more like a turn-based experience rather than what’s intended with the theme.

Is it worth checking out? I guess? It functions as one would think a modern card-based roguelike would, and the world does feel pretty decent in scope. But it also gets very repetitive very quickly, as if we’re racing on a track that’s just a big safe loop instead of one that should make us sweat.

It’s a car game about death racing, but it’s neither fast enough nor does it feel dangerous enough.

This Hot Take Early Access review is based on a Steam code sent to SideQuesting. It originally appeared on the April 26th, 2023 episode of The SideQuest. All images and video courtesy Knights of Unity.