Valentines’ day might be just around the corner and while working as a pit crew might not scream love and lust, it’s certainly going to test your relationships in the same way whipping up lunch did in Overcooked.
We all love a good co-op game, and having experienced the highs and lows of games like Tools Up, Moving Out and the popular Overcooked have been pushing out relationships to the extreme for years.
Nothing screams I love you like that look of disappointment from your loved one, when you fail a stage because you were running around with the wrong item for five minutes.
While Overcooked and its successor Overcooked 2 is often touted as the best-in-class, we’ve spent many hours enjoying the mayhem of running a removal company with Moving Out, or fixing up an apartment with Tools Up, and with a wife and two kids (8 and 13) ready to help me test, we fired up Speed Crew to take a look at the newcomer.
Like the aforementioned titles, there’s a familiar top-down view that gives you a view of the area, which with Speed Crew is a makeshift pit-area for local races, The Fast & Furious vibes are frequent with the similarly named Dominion Torrento challenging your family to the trophy which will require you to navigate 3 championships before challenging as the best racing crew.
Each championship is made up of 10 races (giving you a total of 40), and covering a range of decade from the last 70’s to turn of the century as you fix up your team’s cars, so they can complete more laps than the opposition in the time allowed with a top 3 finish allowing you to move on.
Early on it’s all pretty straight forward, a car will pull up in the pit area, and you’ll use a computer to diagnose the issuem then you’ll have to grab a wrench to remove a wheel, replace it with a new one and then wrench it in place so the car can get back on the track.
Soon enough you’ll have more things to worry about, such as refuelling, or having to repair tires rather than simply replacing them and then dents to fix up or diagnosis systems that need moving across the screen with multiple cars stopping at once.
Jumping straight on with 4 players, gameplay felt a little more inviting than Overcooked, Tools up or Moving Out, as the youngest was able to stick to something a little easier (like carrying around a hammer and smashing out dents) while myself, the wife and eldest where easily co-ordinating whichever other jobs were required.
Through the first ten racers, it did feel a little rushed, with new systems and tasks being throw in pretty much every new race, so you never really felt at home with a system before is was switched, but we were well up to the half way mark, approaching the end of the second championship, before we failed our first mission.
While I’m sure the wife will point out it was a skill issue, this was coincidentally all of us where feeling a little burnt out by our burnt rubber antics, and everyone was ready to call it a day. Continuing to play solo wasn’t as demanding as many similar games, but it definitely wasn’t as enjoyable as playing with the family, especially with maps that really weere designed for 2-4 players, such as having large obstacles between the cars and tools.
Graphically it’s all as you’d expect, there’s a fun cartoon-like presentation and some of the cut-scenes are incredibly well down, feeling as much like a small kids TV episode than a simple story-filler. Progressing also opens up a few cosmetics to throw on your crew members which helps to tell things apart. Even with different colours I still found us occasionally getting confused with who was who, and the other downside is, when a car has multiple objectives, it’s not always clear between needing fuel or needing to grab a plunger to fix the rear bumper.
Audio is in a similar lane, with enough to make it stand out as a fun and enjoyable family game, but never quite enough to make you reach for the remote to turn up the volume, there’s decent voice acting, fine sound effects and above par music and sound as a whole, but nothing really stood out as being great.
Finally, the value is one area where Speed Crew definitely keeps up with the pack, at just over £16 it’s about what you expect from the genre, and there’s definitely many hours of enjoyment, so like Overcooked and Moving out, it’s a game my family is likely to return to time and time again, while it has maybe a slightly more enjoyable flow for the adults, it’s worth noting that the youngest seemed to tire of it far quicker than Moving out (which we literally had to prise out of her hands and promise we’d play again soon).
That’s not to say Speed Crew isn’t as fun, watching your guy get crushed by a car because you decided to dash for that car-jack at the last second, but younger games might enjoy the random mayhem of throwing around food or a lampshade a little more than a dodgy tire
Overall, Speed Crew is a great addition to the “couch co-op” party genre, and will provide plenty of fun between your family and friends, we found it a little repetitive for extended play sessions, but it’s definitely worthy of filling a fun-filled, and argument inducing few hours.
Overall, Speed Crew is a great addition to the “couch co-op” party genre, and will provide plenty of fun between your family and friends