Future Racer 2000 is some great shortform horror if you can somehow avoid the bugs

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The octopus gets a bad rap. It’s a perfectly awesome creature with brains to spare, but it often is treated in media like a horror of the ocean. Listen, there are much more horrific things down there, not least of which are the Old Ones that slumber in the corpse city of R’yleh. Also moray eels. Also anglerfish.

However, catching a virus from an octopus isn’t great. Future Racer 2000 begins with you quarantined in your apartment due to such an affliction. One thing leads to another, and you find yourself in possession of a game console that suspiciously resembles our cephalopod friends. Just what are those little sea puddings up to?

You can find out in Future Racer 2000 on PC, if you’re lucky enough to not have it bug out on you.

Future Racer 2000 Beige Hallway
Screenshot by Destructoid

Infested

At about 15-30 minutes long, it doesn’t hurt to try. However, on my first playthrough, everything started off unintentionally in medias res. Events overlapped each other, played out of order, and I couldn’t even unbox my octo-console. I played the entire game without the meta game even being present.

I somehow managed to complete it in that state, then started fresh. Things went in a much more logical order, but everything locked up very close to the end, and I had to force-shut the game. Yeesh.

Future Racer 2000 Console
Screenshot by Destructoid

Painted like cardboard

It’s unfortunate because Future Racer 2000 does a lot of things right. It’s largely a walking simulator with small hints of gameplay beyond exploration. Its strength is, perhaps, rooted in the fact that it doesn’t take itself very seriously. The protagonist is largely blasé about the horror going on around them, which leads to some humorous moments. Despite this, it doesn’t completely undermine its atmosphere or narrative.

It’s a very minimalistic experience, never leaving the apartment bloc in which the protagonist lives. Despite this, it does much to bring you into its world. One segment of the game just involves watching a bizarre television show. The game console you receive is depicted in sumptuous detail. The narrative is segmented by sleeping. For a game with very little interaction – especially one so heavily scripted – Future Racer 2000 does a lot to draw you in.

It’s not the perfect narrative. Some of the storytelling feels somewhat undercooked. When it doesn’t have something interesting to say, you’re just shown some creepiness. Then the whole thing ends without resolving anything. Or, at least, I think it does… Maybe I just hit a bug.

Retro in-game game
Screenshot by Destructoid

Sea puddings

It’s just a shame that it’s so buggy. The developer is actively trying to squash bugs, but the scripting feels so rickety right now. On the bright side, for the next couple of weeks, Future Racer 2000 is available for free on itch.io.

Future Racer 2000 feels like something from a talented amateur. It excels in some often neglected areas while dropping some fundamental balls. Developer Tim Oxton has stated that they’d like to revisit the concept in a sequel, which I’d personally love to see. In the meantime, it’s worth checking out Future Racer 2000, if only to see how far someone will go to disparage the good name of octopi.

About The Author
Zoey Handley
Staff Writer - Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.
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