There's something painfully compulsive about Nitro Nation.
It's a game composed almost entirely of grind. Repetitive in the extreme, it focuses on tiny increments of speed and stability.
But for all of that, I've sunk hours into it. Almost all you do is tap a button at the right time, but once it's sunk its claws in, and you're determined to make your car the fastest on the track, it's pretty difficult to shake it off.Geeeeaaaar!?!
The game follows the gear-changing pattern of CSR Racing. In other words you're driving in a straight line, not steering, and changing gear when a dial swipes into the green area of your rev-meter.
You need to keep your revs in the green at the start, and when you've upgraded your vehicle a bit you'll get a nitrous oxide boost that you can use once per sprint as well.
And that's pretty much everything that the game has to offer. You earn cash for winning races, and spend it on making your fast car into an even faster car. There are no corners, because corners are for the weak.
The game looks slick and shiny, and all the cars you can buy are officially licensed. There's a VW Golf, and some BMWs, and then a load of supercars that you're going to need to waste hours of your life to get.
There's no energy system in play here though, so you're free to grind your way through challenges and races to earn the cash you need to compete in the big leagues.Pedal not available on metal
Nitro Nation is designed to make you into a slobbering addict, and it does it very well. It's almost dangerously simple to pick up and play, and that desire to shave seconds off your time becomes habit-forming in a few plays.
It's not a racing game. It's barely even a game at all, if you're going to be really critical. But it still manages to bite-sized slices of fun and thrills, and sometimes that's all you want.