The meat and potatoes of GTI Racer’s single-player game is the race-series mode, which is sort of a low-rent Gran Turismo career mode that has you progressing through a number of different race types, collecting money as you go to purchase more powerful VW models, as well as upgrade parts to apply to them. Of course, beyond doing the very basic improvements of upping acceleration and/or top speed, the upgrades don’t feel like they do much for your car–and the game’s elementary difficulty level means you can win almost any event in the series without doing any tweaking to your car at all. For example, moving to a softer suspension and higher ride height seems like it would make sense for the bumpy off-road races–and in most racing games it would. However, in GTI Racer, these kinds of adjustments make practically zero difference in your lap times at all.

Winning races in GTI Racer is rarely challenging. Your typical event in the race-series mode pits you against three opponents, most of whom you’ll blow by at the start line. Barring any catastrophic accidents, it’s easy enough to keep your car ahead of the pack, and though the game does make use of catch-up logic to keep your opponents close, you’ll usually only lose races if you get into a big wreck toward the end of the race. Other race events in the game include cross-country checkpoint races, point-to-point races, drift challenges, and drag-racing events (the latter two are the only events in which you’ll need to make some adjustments to your car). There’s also an odd variant on the checkpoint race that has you careening your car in some of the game’s more urban environments, while trying to dodge cardboard-cutout pedestrians who randomly run out into the street.

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