Jammin’ Racer full review

Shareware game developer DanLabGames has a knack for creating top-notch casual Mac games that are refreshingly original and fun. Jammin’ Racer – an arcade-style racing game – is its most ambitious release to date.

Jammin’ Racer isn’t a simulation game like SCEA’s popular Gran Turismo series. It doesn’t offer real-world physics modelling or AI-based opponents who hold a grudge from race to race. Instead, Jammin’ Racer focuses on arcade-style racing, and does a great job of it.

The game puts you behind the steering wheel of a customizable vehicle. You can apply paint jobs, spoilers and trim, different body styles, and more. Win races, and you’ll be given access to even more body styles. Your goal is to finish first, but to cross the finish line you need to be careful. Scrapes with other racers or walls damage your kart. Wrench icons help you monitor the health of your vehicle. If you lose too many wrenches, you’ll have to park it for a minute and fix yourself up, adding precious seconds to your lap time in the process. Power-ups improve your health or boost your vehicle’s speed. Watch out for oil slicks and puddles, they’ll slow you down.

You compete for six different cups and play on two-dozen tracks. The game takes you to a variety of locales – a tropical island, urban streets, desert tracks, outer space, and more. The graphics are top-notch and so is the original soundtrack. You can choose from three race classifications. Larger engines produce higher speeds, but they’re also harder to control. You can control the car with basic keyboard commands, or game pads and steering wheels. The game also supports force-feedback wheels – a rarity.

If you get tired of racing against the computer, you can run Jammin’ Racer in two-player mode, as long as your opponent is there in the room and doesn’t mind the split-screen mode. The game doesn’t offer network support, however. Jammin’ Racer requires an 800MHz G3 or faster Mac and an OpenGL video card with at least 32MB of VRAM. You can adjust options such as full-scene anti-aliasing, glow effects, full-screen mode, and sun glare to optimize the graphics for your Mac’s capabilities.

By the way, Jammin’ Racer is also family-friendly. There’s nothing in it that will offend parents or folks with delicate sensibilities.

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