Build and Race from Zoo Games is a racing game which allows you to customize not only your car but also create your own tracks. Unfortunately, neither of these aspects are particularly entertaining or worthwhile.
While the game can be played with either the d-pad or steering with the wiimote, neither control scheme feels accurate or easy to use. The turbo is activated by the B trigger which is difficult to use in either mode. Even those with experience with racing games, even Wii racing games, may find the controls somewhat frustrating. The ability to customize your car adds no advantage to the race and is only for aesthetic feel. The options are a bit limited and often the car ends up looking slightly mismatched. Creating tracks can be more of a chore than an opportunity to expand the gameplay. A step by step tutorial would be helpful as the process of selecting and placing different elements of the track is confusing. While this seems like a unique feature, most gamers would rather just race on well-created tracks made by the developers. As this is half the game’s title, there should be more focus on making it a fun and enjoyable element of the game. Instead it is something you may mess with for a few minutes and give up on.
The graphics look pretty good…if this was a PS2 game. As we are in the next generation of gaming it becomes difficult to discern real from digital and most major racing franchises strive to make their cars as photorealistic as possible. This game does not seem to strive for that same standard. And while some games have a first person view that makes you feel like your in the driver’s seat, this one offers a visibility that only serves to make controlling the car more challenging. The music however is pretty solid. Some smooth bass lines provide the opening soundtrack and it keeps on rockin’ throughout the whole game.
This is another game for the bargain bin, but it probably ends up on the main shelf in most Gamestop stores because of the death of solid content for the console. While the ability to steer with the wiimote may be a selling point, I’d much rather have a great racing game with precise controls and intensely accurate graphics. The novelty of building your own tracks is lost if there is no one to share them with. Without the online multiplayer like XBL, the effort you put into painstakingly designing a great track can only be shared by those you can convince to play this game. And that may be the real challenge.