Uniracers (SNES) Retro Review


Uniracers (renamed to Unirally in the EU) is a 1994 Racing game for the SNES developed by DMA Design and Nintendo of America before being published by Nintendo. In the game you play as riderless Unicycles going as fast as possible through 2d tracks by doing ‘tricks’.

Its believed the game was created to show that the SNES could handle fast games like the Genesis could. The game is slightly unknown as Pixar decided to file a lawsuit saying they were copying a unicycle from a short movie of theirs and after winning no more copies of the game were made other than the 300k initial run.

 

Uniracers (U) [!]000

 

The game does have a title screen but you sure don’t see it long before it starts the demo play which unlike others does actually tell you what to do (via onscreen text). The music the game uses is quite cool, it seems they all focus on guitars whereas you’d assume a game about racing unicycles would some sort of cheesy random music instead.

What I quite liked is that while the game gave you the same unicycle except for colors there was 16 to choose from each with names that could be changed in the options. The game has a blacklist but I was playing emulated so I just opened the game in a hex editor and deleted it, amusingly Sonic and Sega are on the list of banned words.

You could even put together your own league which would be great for 2 player although there’s sadly no level creation.

 

Uniracers000

 

Getting into the game makes it seem quite simple at first however it turns out there is some skill involved. Its not as simple as just going left and right, you 100% to do tricks in order to go faster and beat the opponent (there’s sadly only one). Tricks include both a simple spin and flipping which can be done with the L and R buttons which are necessary so you land on the wheel at all times.

The graphics made it get a bit boring fast though. Even if the patterns look OK the first time you see them they get boring extremely fast. I get that they focused on the gameplay but to compromise on something means something else has to be much better.

 

Uniracers001

 

As well as the normal racing stages there are also trick stages which were a nice change of pace although all you really did was do loads of flips over and over again in order to get points. At least the game has a seemingly decent difficulty curve with a few new things added as you go through the 9 Courses (5 tracks per course).

However on the last course your opponent is Anti Uni and not only is it stupidly difficult like you’d expect but bad effects are activated if you let them touch you. Personally they would of been interesting if you could activate them manually for custom 2 player matches but other than that it feels a bit cheap.

Overall I can see why some people like the game but its far too easy to get tired of especially if you are stuck playing single player like me.

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