Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Nitronic Rush

Review: Nitronic Rush

2:00 PM on 11.09.2011 // Allistair Pinsof

It’s hard not to be wary of something given away for free in the age of Horse Armor DLC. Nitronic Rush is neither Korean nor a free-to-play MMORPG, so I let my guard down this time -- good thing too!

Nitronic Rush is a passion project by a handful of DigiPen students, who have created a racing game more innovative than anything the major league studios have delivered this year. Its Tron-like visuals, Daft Punk influenced soundtrack, and chaotic tracks merge together to make a unique, memorable racing game. This game won DigiPen's 2011 Game of the Year award for good reason, as it turns out.

Nitronic Rush (PC)
Developer: Team Nitronic
Publisher: Team Nitronic
Released: November 11, 2011
MSRP: Free!

One of the most difficult things in game development is having a good sense of quality control. Nitronic Rush has perhaps too good of a sense for this. Its opening seven Story Levels are so well designed that it’s shocking that the game was made by amateurs. Then you unlock five "Old Levels,” that were scrapped because the team didn’t think they were good enough, and discover they are awesome too. Even Nitronic Rush’s scraps are worthwhile!

None of this would matter if the controls and general design of the game wasn’t so innovative. Nitronic Rush is as much about survival as it is about racing. That description may make it sound like the Stuntman series, but the game ends up playing more like a mash-up of TrackMania and Burnout. You speed your way down neon-lit, futuristic race tracks, as you survive buzz blades, long chasms, and a track that forces the player to change his center of gravity.

Nitronic Rush is made to be played with an Xbox controller. The weight of the cars and physics of the game don’t feel perfect, but anyone who has played a Ridge Racer or similar arcade racer will be able to adjust. Along with a Motorstorm-esque boost that will kill you when overused, your car is equiped with wings that help you glide across gaps, a jump for elevated platforms, and the ability to move to a horizontally- or vertically-positioned surface by moving the right-analog stick in the correct direction.

While the Story Mode is a pretty easy introduction to the game’s mechanics, the five levels in Hardcore mode reach Trials HD levels of challenge. Flipping your car to a track above you and then rotating (mid-air) back down is pretty damn difficult. In fact, I wasn’t able to beat the game because one section was so insanely hard that I eventually had to give up. It’s hard to say if it is the game’s fault or mine, until more players get their hands on it and we see what is possible.

Though the game has no mulitplayer or traditional race mode, it does have leaderboards and the ability to download ghosts runs of other players to compete against. Along with the normal tracks, there are eight challenge tracks and two maps for tallying up a high score with the trick system. Unfortunately, the trick system is the worst aspect of Nitronic Rush. Since the physics aren’t fully realized, flipping your car and landing it feels awkward. Making a mode where this is all that you do just highlights the game's flaws.

The Challenge maps take different obstacles from the main campaign and expand on their difficulty. One called track, called “Car Wash”, challenges the player to drive down a tunnel made of grinders and buzzsaws. Another has you flying your car through an asteroid field. Some of these levels are even harder than Hardcore mode, so you might want to skip these tracks until you've beaten that. These challenges can be beaten fairly quickly, but it’s a nice addition.

There are retail games, made my large teams over the course of years, that have have been released this year that can’t compare to the vision and originality of Nitronic Rush. Though the game lacks polish and could greatly benefit from more maps and modes, it’s a thrilling experience while it lasts. The visuals, music, and fast, chaotic gameplay compliment each other well. All these elements come together to make for a refreshing racing game.

Every couple years a couple students from a game development school remind us why these places exist. Not since the original Portal has a group of students made such a unique, well-made and fun game. With a Valve and extra revenue behind them, there is no telling what this team can pull off.

Nitronic Rush is free. If you like a unique, challenging racing game, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t download it. In due time, development studios, publishers, and gamers alike will be keeping an eye on these young gun developers.



Nitronic Rush - Reviewed by Allistair Pinsof
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Nitronic Rush

  Oct 22

Nitronic Rush follow-up looks for funding via Kickstarter

From free student game to studio-made $125,000 project

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th October - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Flegma avatarFlegma
Machine-washed my Wii Fit meter yesterday by accident. Took the battery out and let it dry for the night. Luckily the meter still worked - but it had counted a fair number of steps more that day.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Finally killed Ludwig, now if I could only get passed the 2 hunters on the second floor. that 2 some is rather annoying,and her holy blade kills in only a few hits. wish mine was that strong.
Casus Gaming avatarCasus Gaming
After reading a blog post about DMC4 I decided to watch all the cutscenes on Youtube. Tried the games years ago and couldn't get into them, but man that shit was stylish. Likeable protagonists, intense drama... still think DmC reboot wasn't that bad tho.
lewness avatarlewness
me on 1st ff14 raid (void ark): ooh so many people and lights, so many lights, lights, fuck I can't see, what is happening, i don't understand, is it tuesday already, get on the platform fuuuuck, wow void helm
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Just a reminder that you have until the 30th to get your Bloggers Wanted post, "Thankful it's over" in. I'm either going to tell you how I ruined my best online gaming experience or rip Twilight Princess a new one. Maybe both.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Huh. I just found out the developers of Hatred (remember that controversy?) region-locked their game to prevent it from being accessed by Australians. Destructive Creations are more censor-happy than Nintendo, it seems. Where's the outrage?
Oh yeah, I have an account on this site.
Parismio avatarParismio
Ever wanted to get that item behind that safe in the beginning of Fallout 4?:
Shinta avatarShinta
Got Resident Evil 4 Wii for $5. Uh ... this might be my favorite version. I'm just getting headshots nonstop. Did I miss any other Wii games that are frequently overlooked? Like, really obscure Wii games that no one talks about? I'm interested.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Poeple due not aprecciate teh hrdships of bein a squid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Guys, check out your blogs! Just be sure to bring tissues. I wish I had. [img][/img]
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Anyone see the new Captain America trailer? It's pretty dope!
Shinta avatarShinta You're welcome.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Update: played through Hyper Dimension Neptunia Rebirth, reminded why I don't like the series, and requested a refund on it and its sequel. Not sure if they'll refund the sequel, but if they honor at least the first, I'll use that money to get Undertale.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I hope the new Star Wars movie answers the biggest question I have about the franchise; do Midi-Chlorians poop?
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Wow, I feel really stupid. You had to give the Zora King the bottle with the letter in it. Like actually equip the... Wow. Oh, modern gaming conveniences, how I take you for granted.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Srry abot tye lak of coments latly. As a squid now it haas bcom hrrd 2 tipe. Im a sqiid now.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Backing Indivisible can be done with more than just money. Strapped for cash? then spread the word! post about it on Facebook, Instagram, tweet or simply tell your friends. Head to
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Even with the help of an old hunter I can only knock ludwig to his holy blade phase -_- I will kill the jerk, even if it takes me all night.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
This week in How We Can Make Link Hotter... [img][/img]
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -