Nitronic Rush is an unforgiving experience that perfectly evokes both the visuals of Tron and the difficulty of Super Meat Boy. Much like TrackMania, the game is less of a racing title and more of a platformer. The goal is to guide your car through a series of arduous obstacle courses in hopes of finishing each one in the fastest time possible. Maneuvering the car feels highly responsive. The vehicle is also equipped with boost, jump, and glide capabilities…with many of the most challenging sections requiring that all three be mixed together with deft precision.

The main campaign consists of a handful of levels and can be completed in a few hours. Replaying these levels in order to get a better time is encouraged and there are several unlockable challenge courses that will test even the best players. One level in particular stands out, as Team Nitronic has managed to recreate the fabled Obstacle bonus track from the classic Midway title San Francisco Rush 2049. The game also includes a stunt arena mode that forgoes speed in favor of style. Players are tasked with jumping and flipping around sandbox like environments in order to earn high scores.

The graphics look like something straight out of Tron. The digital cityscape is filled with bright colors and glowing neon. It’s truly a sight to behold. The special effects warrant special mention, as seeing the vehicle spontaneously spawn into existence from a series of particles never ceases to amaze. On the audio side of things, Team Nitronic has composed a soundtrack of more than twenty songs. Each one stands on its own as a fantastic track that fits the theme perfectly.

Team Nitronic has crafted an experience that brings out a feeling of pure and unadulterated joy. The core gameplay mechanics are both engaging and responsive, with the steep difficulty curve feeling nonexistent simply because players are too busy having fun. While the base set of levels may be lacking, the developer has included several bonuses that will keep players occupied for a long time. The aesthetics of the game are amazing, with an audio/visual suite that brings to mind classic examples of the “inside a computer” look and feel.

Nitronic Rush can currently be download for free.

Tyler Curran is someone who fondly remembers scribbling out notes about games back when he first learned to write. Who knew design documents scrawled in crayon would lead to him becoming a game design major?