Speed Limit (the brand new game from Croatian developer Game Chuck is due to hit Consoles and PC on 16th Feb 2021 and if you like high octane, retro fuelled, genre swapping arcade-style gameplay then Speed Limit is the game for you. Speed Limit is a work of art that makes you question the sanity of the developers. I have no idea what hellish fever dream Speed Limit was borne from but by Nimah, I am glad it is now a thing that exists!
Shouting about Speed Limit is easy enough. It is a fantastic little game that you will fall in love with extremely quickly. Describing what Speed Limit is, however, is another matter entirely! Developer Game Chuck describe Speed Limit as “A thrilling genre swapping rollercoaster” and that is a fair enough description but doesn’t really explain what it means by Genre Swapping. So let me try and explain…
Speed Limit is fast, immensely fast, arcade-style gameplay with beautiful pixel art graphics. Speed Limit begins when your guy is minding his own business on a train when a bedraggled and worn out stranger limps into view and hands you a gun. Almost instantly a man in a suit points a gun at you and shoots you in the head. Well done you are dead.
Upon respawning (which is almost instantaneous) you realise you have no choice but to run, and that is when Speed Limit comes alive. What follows is a panic-inducing race through the numerous carriages of the train with swat teams bursting in from left, right and above in a continued and committed effort to kill you. Which they will…a lot.
Once you manage to figure out the gameplay and reach the end of the train you find yourself running across the top of the train dodging oncoming signs, shooting yet more swat teams and jumping between train carriages. It is this point that you jump into a car and seamlessly into the next section.
This where the genre swapping comes in. You instantly and smoothly move from a side-scrolling shooter and into a top-down car chase before heading into a third-person bike chase followed by an isometric helicopter stage and finally jumping into an aeroplane for a wonderful “reverse afterburner” style level!
Keeping up? No? I don’t blame you. You need to play Speed Limit to truly enjoy its
madness brilliance. Speed Limit is everything I love about indie games. The AAA market while highly polished and brilliant can be extremely stale it’s game mechanics at times. Indie games allow developers like Game Chuck to provide absolutely bat shit crazy games like Speed Limit.
You will die a lot in Speed Limit but this isn’t as annoying as you would think. At times it can literally be a matter of seconds between deaths. I think at one point I died, respawned and died again in less than ten seconds! While this may sound discouraging Speed Limit is quite generous with its checkpoints so even if you die constantly you will still make progress.
The biggest sell of Speed Limit is the pure unbridled arcade-style gameplay. You genuinely feel nostalgic for the late 80’s/early 90’s when you used to throw 20p after 20p down the coin slots of the machines at your local arcade. Speed Limit is the perfect game for a bartop arcade machine and would be an instant moneymaker for a drinking establishment.
Even though the genre swapping gameplay is unique and something I can’t think of ever coming across before. Speed Limit features some beautiful pixel art graphics that paired with its arcade-style gameplay really cement the game as a wonderful retro game.
Developer Game Chuck are extremely proud (and quite rightly so) of the pixel art graphics. In their press release for Speed Limit, the happily point out “No tweening, no skeletons: All graphics are hand-drawn frame-by-frame“
Speed Limit plays at a ridiculously fast pace and the graphics flow beautifully. Paired with the amazing soundtrack and everything comes together for a truly wonderful piece of gaming art.
Having followed Speed Limit for the last couple of years at Expos such as EGX and EGX Rezzed it is great to finally see the full game released. It is everything I have seen and played in the demo’s that were on show. While that is all fantastic, It is also a problem.
You see it is actually possible to complete Speed Limit in under 30 minutes. In fact, there is a trophy for doing so. I can see Speed Limit being a smash hit in the speedrunner community. Outside of that, I can’t see it holding much pull I am afraid.
It is a fantastic game don’t get me wrong. But once you have completed normal mode you unlock infinite loop mode and are essentially playing the game on a loop over and over again. Again I can see some scope here for challenge gamers on YouTube and Twitch but for your average gamer Speed Limit will have been forgotten about within a week.
Speed Limit is priced at £7.99, Which, for an hour or two of gaming is just about the right side of reasonable I just wish there was more to it. With just a little bit more content to increase the playability Speed Limit would be an easy 10/10. It does feel criminal that this wonderful, genius, mental, unique, nostalgic, piece of art isn’t getting a perfect score but no matter how much I love Speed Limit I just can’t ignore how short it is.
Overall Score 9/10
Speed Limit release dates are as follows:
- PlayStation 4 [playable on PS5] (16/02)
- Steam [including a digital artbook and soundtrack] (17/02)
- Nintendo Switch (18/02)
- Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S (19/02)