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Re-Volt is a remote control car racing game released in 1999 to mixed reviews, but 23 years later there’s still a community devoted to it. After a nine year absence, the game has now returned to Steam and GOG. It’s apparently in less than ideal condition, but the community already have fixes for that.
The immediate pleasure of Re-Volt is that it’s about remote controlled cars, which means you’re vehicles are small and tracks are set in the aisles of supermarkets, toy stores and other locations based upon the real world. It’s like a 3D, not-so-micro Micro Machines.
Re-Volt was originally released back in 1999, but it was re-released on GOG in late 2013. It was then pulled from sale in January 2014 when it turned out its publishers had bundled the release with new code written by the community, without first getting permission from those community developers.
Good news, Re-Volt returned to GOG back in April and to Steam this past week. Bad news, this is the apparently a release of the last official retail version of the game from 2001, without any updates since, community-developed or otherwise. Steam reviewers report inconsistent framerates, texture issues, missing multiplayer functionality and other compatibility issues with modern machines.
Thankfully, community developers haven’t stopped maintaining the game in the past nine years. RVGL is an open source, cross-platform re-write of ReVolt which uses OpenGL and fixes the compatibility issues. Players also operate ReVoltRace.net, an online community for setting up online multiplayer games.
Although the Steam and GOG re-releases aren’t up to scratch, they provide an easy way to get a legitimate copy of Re-Volt, which RVGL requires. If you, like me, spent years looking at Re-Volt on the shelves of a video rental shop but never picked it up, now is your chance to see if it’s any good. Re-Volt costs £4.79/€6 from Steam and from GOG.