Star Wars: Episode I - Racer

aka: Pod Racer, SW E 1 Racer, Star Wars: Episódio I - Racer
Moby ID: 276
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Based upon the Pod Racing scenes of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, your mission as young Anakin Skywalker or as one of a collection of strange characters from around the Galaxy is to compete, survive and win in the high speed challenge of Pod Racing.

Each character has a unique Pod that can be upgraded with the credits you win after each race. Finish first to gain the most prestige and compete in greater and more challenging tracks, including the now famous race along the sand dunes of Tatooine that determined the destiny of many lives.

Spellings

  • スター・ウォーズ エピソード1 レーサー - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

142 People (134 developers, 8 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 62 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 147 ratings with 9 reviews)

A great racer whether you like Star Wars or not.

The Good
I like the action packed pod racing and the fact that there are many levels. The sound is amazing. This is probably the best racing game ever. And believe me, I don't even like racing games.

The Bad
I didn't like the explosions compared to the movie. They gave me all these high expectations and then let me down. Don't get me wrong, they aren't bad. They just aren't as good as they should be.

The Bottom Line
Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer is the best racing game ever. With excellent graphics and sound, this is the game for you. It includes tons of levels and characters in which you can choose. Change your difficulty is it's too easy for you. Play with a friend or by yourself in this action packer racer.

Nintendo 64 · by Dark Lord (31) · 2005

Great sci-fi, high speed racer

The Good
I think that this game is a good reproduction of the podracing sequence in "Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace". Each of it's tracks are detailed fairly well, and it's characters look pretty good. My fingers fell right into place with it's controls, but finding out what they were took some time in the manual. The scenery was great, and the moving objects off the track Definatly a good addition to the Star Wars universe.

The Bad
The computer opponents were terribly detailed. Some had black squares in the front of there podracer. Their movements were jerky, and their speed wasn't constant. The screenshot option was not as good as I had expected. Some of them came out blank, others made the podracers disappear, but left their shadows. I think that some other sort of multiplayer option would have been in order. Something like the Nintendo 64 version (split-screen) would have been nice, but that would have required another input device. The sound was strange, because the sounds of the engines in each podracer each sounded the same. Even then, the engine noises would get quiet, then loud, then quiet, then loud. I didn't here any of the fans cheering unless I stopped.

The Bottom Line
This game is a good addition to any racing gamers collection. If you like Star Wars, you should this game on any platform. I would recommend it to just about anyone.

Windows · by Mullet of Death (592) · 2005

A maddening rush of speed--and a maddening control system.

The Good
Speed. There's always a problem in computer games that try to convey a sense of speed when you race, and that's not their fault--you, the player, are doing exactly what you don't do in a race. You're sitting still. And your surroundings are stationary as well. So computer games essentially have to go way over the top in order to convey a rushing sense of speed, and many don't because that takes away from the 'realism'.

Star Wars: Episode I Racer gleefully goes way over the top, because it can. It's set in the Star Wars universe, so piloting a pod racer (two jet engines and a piece of string, essentially) that can reach speeds in excess of 750 MPH is... well, over the top. It definitely gets your adrenaline pumping. (A decent 3D accelerator helps, too.)

The tracks are large and varied. They aren't as large (and sneaky) as the tracks in, say, Carmageddon 2, but they are much nicer in appearance and represent their homeworld well with plenty of detail.

The Bad
Frankly, I'm a bit annoyed at the control system. You'd expect in any racing game that you would need to slow down, speed up, move left and right, brake, and hit the turbo. That conforms very nicely to a two button joystick. But Pod Racer introduces additional elements that I view as 'featureitis' -- hard air braking (why is regular braking and turning not enough?), rolling your craft sideways, moving up and down slightly, and reparing your engines on the fly are features that come to mind. They don't significantly enhance the gameplay, other than the ability to roll sideways allows you to fit through a verticle slot on one level easily (although you can fit through it normally anyway if you go straight through the center).

A two-button joystick doesn't cut it, and it's distracting to keep one finger near the keyboard to perform in-race functions. An obvious criticism of this is "Why don't you use a joystick with more than two buttons?" To that, I answer "Why do I need a joystick with more than two buttons?"

An 'obvious' solution is to use a gamepad or keyboard. But any true racing fan knows that keyboards and gamepads are 'total-on, total-off' devices that make subtle steering adjustments impossible--you're either turning as hard as you can, or you're not turning at all. Another solution, then, is to use a multi-button digital joystick. This reviewer had marginal success using Microsoft's popular force-feedback joystick, except that it didn't feel natural at all, since it's a flight throttle.

I would imagine that a multi-button steering wheel or yoke would be best.

The Bottom Line
If you're looking for a mind-numbing sense of speed, look no further. But be sure you have the right input device for the job!

Windows · by Trixter (8962) · 2023

[ View all 9 player reviews ]

Trivia

Title

Lucas Arts wanted to call this game Pod Racer, but an older game already existed with that name and legal stupidity prevailed. According to Racer project lead Jon Knoles, the other game was Ubisoft's 1997 futuristic racer POD, "Planet of Death.".

Voices

Some actors from the movie also appear in the game, including Greg Proops (Fode, race commentator) and Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker).

Awards

  • Total! (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2000 – Best N64 Futuristic Racing Game in 1999

Information also contributed by James1 and Johnny Szary

Analytics

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Brian Hirt.

Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One added by Rik Hideto. Nintendo 64, Dreamcast added by Kartanym. Macintosh added by Jason Savage.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Apogee IV, tarmo888, Hawklord, gamewarrior, Patrick Bregger, GenesisBR.

Game added September 16, 1999. Last modified January 20, 2024.