Released: 29 August 2020
Price: Currently Free
Available on: itch.io
REDLINE CROOKS is a top-down, rogue-lite, arcade, endless survival driving game currently in development by fluury. Based on the idea of “What if we took Nuclear Throne but the player is in a vehicle and racing?”, you play as an outlaw evading hordes of police cars by any means necessary.
To facilitate your escape, your car is surprisingly capable of wanton destruction. Between ‘side slamming’ cars on the road to literally cutting through rock at high speed, the game gives you all the tools necessary to make it to the end of the procedurally generated tracks, then challenges you to use your scarce resources as efficiently as possible.
You need to make it to the next track, which requires you to boost and costing you HP in the process. The only way to restore HP is by destroying any vehicle, forcing you to play fast and risky to survive. The money you gain through side slam combos can be used in the shop to buy potentially life-saving upgrades (before your car is probably smothered by the bosses, anyway). REDLINE CROOKS is simultaneously an arcade experience where good reflexes and reactions are a must, and a resource management game where your biggest enemy is yourself.
While some of the graphics are obvious Microsoft Paint placeholders (menu screens, players other than John Carma and a couple of bosses), the non-placeholder art by Metaru is decent-looking but even better at high-speed, especially when combined with visual effects such as explosions, rock debris, and skid marks. While there aren’t a lot of tracks given the alpha status of the game, the intense high-speed music, composed by VasteelXolotl, helps you get in the mood of blowing things up.
It’s not often that I like to play rogue-lites, namely because you always start from scratch and efficient management of randomly generated resources is not easy, but REDLINE CROOKS perfectly hits the sweet spot. In addition to the action-packed gameplay, restarting a run is instant and gets you right back to the fun for that “one more run” feeling. I’m looking forward to the game’s full release and how it will evolve!