As a kid in the '70s/'80s I was innundated with TV ads for slot car racing sets during the Saturday morning cartoons as I sat on the floor eating my Cap'n Crunch cereal.  It was great!  These were complicated, plastic tracks with twists, turns, overpasses, and even jumps.  Tiny, high-speed, electric racing cars would ride a slot in the track to victory.  "Driving" consisted of judiciously giving your car juice by way of a wired handheld controller with a big analog trigger.  Go too slow and you'd lose the race.  Go too fast and your car would fly off the track at the next turn.  Or collide with another car at an intersection.  It was heaven, and--oh--that lovey, lovely smell of ozone.

Those that missed out on so much on-the-carpet goodness or who would love the chance to nostalgically relive those fond memories should keep an eye out for Freeverse's upcoming iPhone game, SlotZ Racer.  It's slot car racing on the iPhone.

TUAW recently had a chance to spend some time with a pre-release version.

I was able to test a pre-release version of the game, and it's a ton of fun. You can race on pre-defined tracks ranging from a simple oval to a curvy Grand Prix course, and there's a track editor for creating your own race courses. There are settings for the number of lanes, the car scale (1:32 or HO), and whether or not cars can change lanes.

To accelerate your car, you just hold down on the lower left corner of the iPhone screen. Like real slot cars, if you go too fast your car will flip off the track. You can slow the car down by taking your finger or thumb off of the screen.

The official launch of SlotZ Racer is expected to happen during Macworld Expo, early next month.  There is no pricing information at this time.

Stay tuned for more information on this one and see TUAW's gallery for more screenshots.

  • http://tuaw.com Mike Rose

    Thanks for the link love Blake!

    TUAW <3 Touch Arcade.

  • http://tuaw.com Mike Rose

    Thanks for the link love Blake!

    TUAW <3 Touch Arcade.

  • http://www.connection.ca networkman

    It needs MULTI-PLAYER.

  • http://www.connection.ca networkman

    It needs MULTI-PLAYER.

  • Alexbates

    I can't wait for this app. I never amagined being able to play one of those racing games as a video game.

  • Alexbates

    I can't wait for this app. I never amagined being able to play one of those racing games as a video game.

  • Flip

    Sweeeet!

    Loved the real thing...

    Best thing here: TRACK EDITOR!!! :)

  • Flip

    Sweeeet!

    Loved the real thing...

    Best thing here: TRACK EDITOR!!! :)

  • Mark

    Why oh WHY does this developer seem to think that touching/holding on the screen to accelerate is ANYTHING like a real slot car controller? At least the writer here got it correct - it was an analog controller, not digital. That is, you controlled how much juice to give your car, NOT whether it was getting any or not. The controller governed velocity, with acceleration merely being the time it took the car to adjust to your inputs. This game proposes controlling acceleration, with velocity being the result of whether you are accelerating or coasting against friction.

    Sheesh. It may end up being fun anyways, but it won't be just like the old days. Too much video game mentality, not enough basic understanding.

  • Mark

    Why oh WHY does this developer seem to think that touching/holding on the screen to accelerate is ANYTHING like a real slot car controller? At least the writer here got it correct - it was an analog controller, not digital. That is, you controlled how much juice to give your car, NOT whether it was getting any or not. The controller governed velocity, with acceleration merely being the time it took the car to adjust to your inputs. This game proposes controlling acceleration, with velocity being the result of whether you are accelerating or coasting against friction.

    Sheesh. It may end up being fun anyways, but it won't be just like the old days. Too much video game mentality, not enough basic understanding.

  • Eng

    Well, i was pretty much sold at track editor.

  • Eng

    Well, i was pretty much sold at track editor.

  • Aaron

    Mark: there'll be an analogue control option too, but so far we're finding that the digital option is more fun to play. Real slot cars are 2D and bigger than the iPhone screen, so there's always a balance of what the real controls are and what's needed to make the game work best. In SlotZ we're giving you the option so you can pick whichever control you prefer.

    There'll also be multiplayer networkman.

  • Aaron

    Mark: there'll be an analogue control option too, but so far we're finding that the digital option is more fun to play. Real slot cars are 2D and bigger than the iPhone screen, so there's always a balance of what the real controls are and what's needed to make the game work best. In SlotZ we're giving you the option so you can pick whichever control you prefer.

    There'll also be multiplayer networkman.

  • boardopboy

    WOW!

  • boardopboy

    WOW!

  • Mark

    @Aaron: Really appreciate the feedback. I might suggest that if the digital controls are "more fun" then perhaps some attention should be paid to making the analog controls "more fun" too, instead of just accepting it :-). Maybe a different choice of analog implementation, or responsiveness tuning, would help? But hey, creds for trying, so thanks. And I think you meant "3D", not "2D"...

    I go back to the 1/24 scale real hardcore scene in the 60s, where most towns had an actual track business/storefront, there were multiple magazines dedicated to the sport, and top end accessories like a pro controller were $50 or more (in 1960s dollars!). I really don't expect you to perfectly emulate that experience, but now you know where the bar is set :-).

  • Mark

    @Aaron: Really appreciate the feedback. I might suggest that if the digital controls are "more fun" then perhaps some attention should be paid to making the analog controls "more fun" too, instead of just accepting it :-). Maybe a different choice of analog implementation, or responsiveness tuning, would help? But hey, creds for trying, so thanks. And I think you meant "3D", not "2D"...

    I go back to the 1/24 scale real hardcore scene in the 60s, where most towns had an actual track business/storefront, there were multiple magazines dedicated to the sport, and top end accessories like a pro controller were $50 or more (in 1960s dollars!). I really don't expect you to perfectly emulate that experience, but now you know where the bar is set :-).

  • Aaron

    @Mark: I'm a big Scalextric (1/32nd) nut and we've got a very serious HO club racer testing for us too, so don't worry, you'll enjoy it :) (and yes, real cars are actual 3D, while anything on a flat screen is ultimately 2D :) ). As always though, prime directive is to make it a really fun iPhone game.

    There's a lot of tweaks, tuning and such to go before MacWorld of course, and the preview version mentioned above was very pre-alpha (by the time anything I'm working on gets through the various levels of "are we allowed to talk about this" checking, it's usually way behind what I've got here )

  • Aaron

    @Mark: I'm a big Scalextric (1/32nd) nut and we've got a very serious HO club racer testing for us too, so don't worry, you'll enjoy it :) (and yes, real cars are actual 3D, while anything on a flat screen is ultimately 2D :) ). As always though, prime directive is to make it a really fun iPhone game.

    There's a lot of tweaks, tuning and such to go before MacWorld of course, and the preview version mentioned above was very pre-alpha (by the time anything I'm working on gets through the various levels of "are we allowed to talk about this" checking, it's usually way behind what I've got here )

  • http://www.f1archives.co.uk/mobile.htm Gregz0r

    I loved Scalextric back in the day, and heard that it's gone digital or something(the real thing i mean).
    Anyways, this looks like it's gonna rock. I trust it has authentic sounds too?

  • http://www.f1archives.co.uk/mobile.htm Gregz0r

    I loved Scalextric back in the day, and heard that it's gone digital or something(the real thing i mean).
    Anyways, this looks like it's gonna rock. I trust it has authentic sounds too?

  • hkiphone

    oh wow, I almost missed the Scalextric days, just remembering seeing my brothers and cousins playing in massive tracks but I never got around to playing on them. This looks like a great trip down memory lane. Am quite eager to try this out :)

    As for Analogue acceleration, couldn't you work something like a sliding vertical bar on the side? Sort of like the throttle in X-Plane?

  • hkiphone

    oh wow, I almost missed the Scalextric days, just remembering seeing my brothers and cousins playing in massive tracks but I never got around to playing on them. This looks like a great trip down memory lane. Am quite eager to try this out :)

    As for Analogue acceleration, couldn't you work something like a sliding vertical bar on the side? Sort of like the throttle in X-Plane?

  • rich_952000

    Wow, this is the second time I've skimmed over this article, and just now noticed this is a Freeverse game. I'm sold. Period.

  • rich_952000

    Wow, this is the second time I've skimmed over this article, and just now noticed this is a Freeverse game. I'm sold. Period.

  • http://www.qwertyrash.com chris

    it's definitely the multi-player over wifi that will make this game awesome. With a touch and an iPhone in our house already, I'm looking forward to kicking my kids' butts.:)

  • http://www.qwertyrash.com chris

    it's definitely the multi-player over wifi that will make this game awesome. With a touch and an iPhone in our house already, I'm looking forward to kicking my kids' butts.:)

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