Cruis’n Blast (Switch) Review

Admit it, you can hear the song…

We truly live in the golden age of video games. New titles are being created on a weekly basis and blasts from the past are constantly making their way into the new generation. There are more ways than ever to enjoy all of my favorite gaming franchises both new and old. The latest game to return is none other than the next chapter in my favorite arcade racer from the mid 90s known as the Cruis’n series. Developed by teams at Midway and WMS Industries and headed up by none other than Eugene Jarvis. The latest entry is called Cruis’n Blast and is developed by Raw Thrills, a development house known for arcade titles and, you guessed it, founded by Eugene Jarvis. So my expectations coming in were high and I was not disappointed.

Cruis’n Blast is an arcade racing game at its core. The idea is outlandish tracks in ridiculous vehicles aiming for better scores, finding secrets, and getting faster times. The game is broken down into three main categories including a tour mode, arcade mode, and time trials. There are an absurd amount of tracks and each one is themed during the tour mode (more on that in a minute) to create plenty of variety for players. There are 30 tracks and over 20 vehicles to unlock and while I was able to blast through one full tour mode in one sitting, I found myself coming back for more and more.

MSRP: $39.99
Platforms: Switch
Price I’d Pay: $39.99

The tour mode is akin to something like Mario Kart GP. There are various cups and each one has four races themed after those cups. For example the Dino Cup features creatures all around the tracks creating for some wild traversal and obstacles. I loved going through each one on increasing difficulties trying to find the hidden keys and earn the gold medals. Each track contains three keys to collect that can be used to unlock new cars and each win earns cash that can also be used to purchase new vehicles or just an extra nitro boost before the race.

The arcade mode is six tracks again with three keys to find and times to beat. Time trial is self explanatory and again is used to perfect the tracks and get faster times to climb the leaderboards. The multiplayer mode is the one disappointment. Not because it isn’t fun, but just because it is local only. There are no online features whatsoever. The game can be played split screen or via local connection between other Switch consoles, but there are no online features at all. I would have loved to join friends over the internet for this game, especially in these times, but sadly it is the one omission that left me disappointed.

The core game play takes the Cruis’n mentality and adds a few twists. There is a boost meter than can be triggered by drifting around corners by tapping the R button. Think of it like Mario Kart again and you get the idea. There are also nitros that can be used, but come in limited fashion. Tricks can be performed but there is not much benefit to them outside of a slight boost and just looking cool. The game plays like butter. Every vehicle handles extremely well and sliding around turns and discovering hidden shortcuts takes me back to the arcade days. This game is really tugging on those strings of fans of the original series.

Performance on Switch is good with the game hitting 60fps most of the time. The visuals are sharp and colorful with only minor noticeable seams. I could tell the game cut some corners to perform so well on Switch, but the tradeoff was worth it. The sound is equally impressive with some catchy tunes and a new take on the Cruis’n theme song that I enjoyed. It would have been cool to have the original track as well, but assuming licensing is the reason this didn’t happen. Remember the original game was built on prototype Nintendo 64 hardware and licensed by them as well, so maybe it simply wasn’t an option.

Cruis’n Blast is a fantastic trip back to the past with some modern luxuries to round out the package. This is not a game for everyone. It can be maxed out in a day and the replay comes from the enjoyment of the races and tracks themselves. If you are into that though, you will be hard-pressed to find a more polished version of an arcade racing game to date. You can feel the love from Raw Thrills past work poured into this game and I hope it eventually makes its way onto other platforms at some point. Everyone should get a chance to experience the thrill of arcade racing in its finest form.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Tons of tracks
  • Control feels great
  • Performance is mostly sublime
  • No online whatsoever
Written by
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.