R.C. Pro-Am, NES/Famicom

Rare‘s R.C. Pro-Am is a classic isometric racing game that was published by Nintendo on the NES in North America and Europe in 1988.

In it you race remote controlled cars around tracks in order to win points and stay in the championship. If you drop too low in the rankings then you are eliminated from the game and must start again.

Picking up car parts from the tracks as you race around will enhance your vehicle and make it faster and more resilient, which in turn makes it easier to win the more challenging races. That said: R.C. Pro-Am is a difficult and frustrating game to master – especially when you get past the first few courses. You can be having a good race – be first for most of it – then make a mistake and end up at the back, and be out of the game, within a few seconds. Using offensive pickups to take out the other cars can help, but they’re randomly distributed and the other cars can pick them up and use them too, so there are no guarantees. They key thing to winning later levels is to make sure you drive over every booster pad available to you, which is not easy. Opponent cars seem to be able to hit them, and missing any will put you at a serious disadvantage.

On the face of it R.C. Pro-Am seems like a fun, easy and playable game – and it is to some extent – but continued play will reveal a frustrating monster that will undoubtedly have you rage-quitting in anger. There really isn’t enough to the game to make it a long term prospect, but it is okay in small doses.

An enhanced remake of the game, called Championship Pro-Am, was released for the Sega Megadrive, and a sequel, called R.C. Pro-Am II, was released for the NES – both coming out in 1992. I prefer the sequel as it’s more varied, but the Megadrive remake is a little disappointing.

More: R.C. Pro-Am on Wikipedia

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