The newest game in the Forza franchise isn’t a sequel to Horizon 4 or a new entry in the main Motorsport series. Instead, Forza Street is an upcoming mobile game spin-off that is now available on the Windows 10 Store on PC. The game focuses on one-on-one street races and looks gorgeous. Sadly, there isn’t much in Street beyond the visuals.
Forza Street tells a light story about your driver making their way across the country in a series of races against high ranking drivers. The story includes TV news anchors, cryptocurrency, secret patrons and a cool looking older dude in a hat. It’s all very odd and I sort of admire the game for being weird like this.
The thing I was immediately impressed by was the visuals. Forza Street looks slick. Lots of night time races, with bright neon colors and reflections. The races also use multiple cinematic camera angles, making races feel more exciting. Of course, this is running on a fairly decent PC. I have no idea how well this Unreal Engine-powered game will run on older phones. But if the visuals hold up on a smaller screen, it might end up being one of the better looking mobile games I’ve played.
Sadly, the pretty visuals disguise a simple game that is probably too shallow to keep most Forza fans interested.
All driving, braking, and accelerating is done with one tap or button. There is no steering. Each race is a point-to-point and filled with a few turns and straightaways. To control your car you simply click and hold the spacebar or tap the screen. When you reach a turn, indicators on the track signal when you should let go of the gas. Timing this perfectly helps you keep your speed through the turn. Then as the turn ends, you time when to start accelerating again. Mess up the timing of these moments and you could lose speed or even crash, costing you time and possibly the lead.
This simple mechanic is fun enough, but it is also the entirety of what you do during races. There is a turbo button, but beyond that, every race I’ve played so far has boiled down to timing turns and hitting turbo a few times. Races only take a minute or so to finish. Quickly I found myself getting a bit bored.
The driving gameplay is similar to CSR 2, a popular mobile driving game. But where that game used a similar one button or tap control scheme, it was focused on gear changes, while Forza askes players to handle turns. I actually prefer the Forza Street racing gameplay as it feels more generous and has a better sense of flow.
Outside the driving, the game feels like an older mobile game. A lot of modern mobile games I’ve played recently, like Brawl Stars or Elder Scrolls: Blades let players play as much as they want and don’t use energy meters. Forza Street brings back this bad mobile game system. Complete too many races and you might just find yourself out of energy an unable to play. The game also has multiple currencies. It feels like a mobile or Facebook game from 2012.
Another disappointment, that is a little more tolerable but still strange, is that Forza Street lacks any licensed music. Forza games have had wonderful and eclectic soundtracks and it is a shame Street doesn’t have its own great soundtrack.
Forza Street might be perfect for you if you want a simple and quick bit of racing action. But annoying energy timers, basic gameplay and a lack of music make the game feel too small and shallow. Especially when you compare it to other racing games on phones, like the fantastic Asphalt series, which have more in-depth racing controls and multiplayer action.