So here’s a thing: Vroomies from developer Alex Taber aka Unordered Games is the Game of the Week! Except… Vroomies came out an entire month ago. It wasn’t on my radar until this week, which is why I included it in our weekly new games round-up, but technically it is not a new release. Why does that matter? It doesn’t! Vroomies is awesome and I want to tell you about it, so it’s getting this Game of the Week nod despite me typically trying to keep these picks to actual new games released in the past week. Rules were meant to be broken!

Anyway, Vroomies. It’s a top-down racer with pretty unique mechanics that were built specifically for the touchscreen. Your car moves automatically, and when you come to a turn you need to swipe in the direction that the track is turning right as you’re passing through it. Time it right and you’ll maintain your speed, time it poorly and you’ll lose some speed. There’s a 5-segment meter to the right of your vehicle that are your Control Points. Mistime a turn and you’ll lose a point, and if your meter runs empty you’ll spin out and stop. Not a good thing if trying to win a race.

Control Points serve another purpose. At various points on each track are shortcuts and you can spend some of your Control Points, if you have enough available, to take that shortcut. This can be risky though since Control Points are also your safety net for mistiming turns. It’s a risk/reward option that adds a layer of strategy to the races. Similarly your tires can wear down, causing you to need to make a pit stop. What type of tires you choose and when you pit are other strategic choices that add depth to what seems like a very simple racer on the surface.

In addition to making turns, there are pads on the track that you’ll want to tap right as you’re moving over them to trigger an effect. That can be a boost or a pad that refills one of your Control Point segments. Mistiming one of these taps will also cost you a Control Point segment. Finally, when you reach the All Star level tournament, a jumping mechanic is introduced where you’ll swipe in the direction of a jump but then hold your finger down until you reach a landing node. These jumps really mix things up as some are longer than other and you’ll have to time how long you hold down on the screen to remain airborne.

All of these mechanics blend together to form an experience that is so fast-paced and exciting you never would have dreamt it was possible by just looking at the simple screenshots of Vroomies. This is one of those games where once you’ve dialed in the mechanics your fingers react before your brain even realizes what’s going on. You just kind of zone out for a minute or two while your hand is busy in a flurry of taps and swipes, and when you snap out of it you just hope you were somehow in the lead when it all ended. It helps that the game is excellent about accepting your control inputs, so if you miss something it’s totally on you and not that the game registered your input wrong.

Toss in an experience system with leveling and a simple but impactful upgrade system and everything just comes together so well in Vroomies. There’s quite a bit to chew through with 11 tracks, 3 championship series, global leaderboards, leveling and upgrading and the like, but still I want more of this. Oh and did I mention that Vroomies is free for some reason? Just… free. No ads, no IAP, no tracking BS, no online requirements. Like did I just end up in the Twilight Zone or something? So there is absolutely no reason not to be downloading Vroomies and trying it out for yourself right this minute, unless you’ve already been doing that since the game came out a month ago.

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