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Synth Retro Vapor Wave Review

Official Score

Overall - 20%


Synth Retro Vapor Wave is a game without purpose, style, or polish. An absolute resource hog with the looks to match, this game is anything but a relaxing Sunday drive.

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Promising everything it says on the tin, Meng Games sets out to slow things down with their relaxing throwback Synth Retro Vapor Wave. Should players tune in, turn on, and drop out, or is the dream of days gone by dead and buried?

Synth Retro Vapor Wave Review

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After grabbing the car of their choice (including the AE86 Trueno, Mazda Miata, and Chevrolet Corvette) and adding the ever-so-important decals and paint jobs, players will be able to hit the track as they jam out to one of more than 20 tunes. There are no checkpoints, hot laps, or rivals to worry about; rather, the main objective is the road ahead. 12 different maps are featured in all, featuring tunnels, neon, and (our favorite) dolphins. If you’ve seen any sort of outrun aesthetic – even from an iStock account or Wikipedia page – you’ll know what to expect with this title’s design.

As it turns out, a lack of structure absolutely kills this game. The only variation of this game is avoiding the cars on the track; there isn’t even a brake button. Rather, players are railroaded as they constantly move forward, with the only thing stopping the title is bumping into a car.

However, even the collision detection is borked in Synth Retro Vapor Wave. There are invisible guard rails to the left and right of each world; it might look like players can infinitely move left or right, but that most certainly is not the case. In addition, actually crashing into another car lacks any sort of impact; this is a one and done sort of deal. Put simply, this title is as far away from the Burnout series as one possibly can be.

It’s not like players will be invested in this title in the long term; each of the 12 tracks plays the same and the entirety of the title can be experienced in less than 30 minutes. Changes between cars and tracks are purely aesthetic; what you see is what you get.

If anything, what you do see in Synth Retro Vapor Wave is lacking too. There isn’t much pop or color to this title; it’s a very dulled out palette that doesn’t manage to make much of an impression. In addition, this title is an absolute resource hog; there were times where our GPU fans were clocking overtime just to keep up with the paltry output. Seeing how this title is running on the Unity engine, there is absolutely no excuse for things to be this way.

Outside of the main mode, one can also adjust the bloom, depth of field, back camera, and brightness. One can also choose from different camera angles while driving, but select ones make the game downright unplayable. We don’t understand how a side view made it into a game where precision is key, but one can find it there if they’re feeling truly masochistic.

Synth Retro Vapor Wave is a game without purpose, style, or polish. An absolute resource hog with the looks to match, this game is anything but a relaxing Sunday drive.

[infobox style=’success’ static=’1′]This review of Synth Retro Vapor Wave was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.[/infobox]

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Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.

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