F1 Race Stars isn’t your typical karting experience. In a genre where the normal template is a caricature of rallying, we’ve instead distilled the finesse of Formula 1 races.
The most important difference is the one that has been with us since the game’s very first pitch, the removal of power-sliding. Instead you’ll be braking hard at corners, clipping the apex, then driving out straight – just like the real drivers do.
If that sounds technical, don’t worry: this is a game for everyone and we’ve tuned the handling model across the different engine classes to let players choose their level of challenge. But if you’re a racing fan playing at the highest cc level we think you’ll be surprised at how much depth we’ve managed to cram in, and the time trial leaderboards should provide you with plenty of competition.
One of the big features is the KERS system. Every major corner in the game is covered with a KERS pad which charges segments of your kart’s boost battery as you drive over it. Once each segment is charged you need to take your foot off the accelerator for a moment to start charging the next one – but don’t let go too soon, or the current segment will drain away. At the end of the KERS pad whatever level of boost you’ve stored up fires and unleashes a boost of speed into your car.
KERS is designed to disrupt the handling flow around corners. Try steering around a hairpin on Monaco while charging up a full three-level boost in the midst of a Trap Bubble cluster and suddenly the game becomes quite a handful.
It’s worth building up a full KERS boost though as it’s the only way to achieve the game’s fastest and longest boost type. This is invaluable when “boost chaining”, which is where you extend a boost for as long as you can by topping it up with other boosts. The Boost power-up, regular boost pads and even the normally tiny jump boosts (triggered by hitting the accelerator as you land from a leap) can all be used. If you can start a boost chain with a full KERS boost you’ll be whizzing through whole track sections in a blur!
Some constructor bonuses will help you boost chain, but picking one of those means you don’t have a special offensive of defensive ability…in the end it all depends on what sort of player you are.