If you're a gaming enthusiast who revels in the world of classic racing games, Re-Volt is a name that likely sparks a wave of nostalgia. Developed by Acclaim Studios London and published by Acclaim Entertainment, Re-Volt burst onto the scene in the late '90s, leaving an indelible mark on the racing game genre.

The Birth of Re-Volt

Developers: Acclaim Studios London
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Designers: Paul Phippen, Simon Harrison
Platforms: Windows, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Dreamcast
Release Dates:

  • Windows, Nintendo 64, PlayStation (NA: 18 August 1999, EU: 3 September 1999)
  • Dreamcast (NA: 17 December 1999, EU: 2 August 2000)
  • Re-Volt Classic (4 October 2012)
    Genre: Racing
    Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer

Re-Volt, envisioned by designers Paul Phippen and Simon Harrison, took players on a thrilling ride through a unique racing experience. Unlike traditional racing games, Re-Volt ventured into the realm of radio-controlled cars navigating diverse environments ranging from museums and steamships to construction sites and supermarkets.

The Gameplay Odyssey

At its core, Re-Volt offers an exciting premise: race miniature vehicles through intricate and unconventional tracks while collecting random weapons to thwart competitors. Success in the game's tournament modes unlocks an array of cars and tracks, enticing players to explore every nook and cranny of this miniature racing universe.

Game Modes Galore

  1. Single Race: Race against computer opponents for supremacy, unlocking new cars with each cup victory. Multiplayer mode allows up to four players to engage in heated races.
  2. Championship: Compete in a cup consisting of four races, earning points based on rank. Finish in the top three to advance, but beware – failure depletes tries, and three strikes end the championship.
  3. Time Trial: Race against the clock for the fastest lap time, unlocking new track variations upon success.
  4. Practice: Explore tracks limitlessly, collecting stars on each track to unlock additional cars.
  5. Stunt Arena: Conquer a small arena by collecting stars, unlocking a special game mode upon capturing all 20 stars.
  6. Battle Tag: A multiplayer-exclusive mode where players race to collect a hidden star, with the slowest player facing elimination.
  7. Clockwork Carnage: A twist on the traditional race, featuring 30 wind-up cars vying for victory.

Evolution through Ports and Re-Releases

Car Editor (October 1999)

In a surprising move, Acclaim Entertainment released the Re-Volt Car Editor, enabling players to export, edit, or create new cars for the PC version using 3D Studio.

Xbox Beta Version

An Xbox version, Re-Volt Live, tantalized fans during its limited beta release to closed beta testers. Unfortunately, the full game never saw the light of day, leaving enthusiasts yearning for what could have been.

Arcade Version (September 2004)

Tsunami Visual Technologies brought Re-Volt to the arcade, introducing gameplay and graphic alterations. Additional tracks, including fan-made creations, enhanced the arcade experience.

Mobile Device Ports (2012)

In a strategic move, WeGo Interactive Co., Ltd. acquired the intellectual property related to Re-Volt, leading to its mobile debut on iOS and Android platforms in 2012.

PC Re-Release (October 2013)

GOG.com hosted the re-release of Re-Volt for PC, based on the community-developed 1.2 Beta patch. Though temporarily removed in 2014 due to code-related concerns, it resurfaced in 2022 on Steam, showcasing continued support and enhancements.

The Enduring Legacy

While Acclaim Entertainment faded into history, Re-Volt's vibrant community kept the spirit alive. Fans, driven by passion, extended the game's lifespan through fan-made vehicles, courses, and multiplayer servers. The open-source chat/lobby client "RV House" facilitated online connections, while the "Revolt Race" website curated monthly tracks for time trials.

In recent times, the community has thrived on a Discord channel, becoming a hub for discussions, races, content sharing, and collaborative game development. The latest iteration, RVGL, represents a cross-platform rewrite/port of Re-Volt's source code, ensuring compatibility with both Windows and Linux.

Critical Acclaim and Reception

Re-Volt garnered mixed reviews across platforms. The PC and Dreamcast versions received favorable critiques, praising graphics, gameplay, and the unique RC-like handling. The Nintendo 64 version and Re-Volt Classic elicited more varied responses, while the PlayStation version faced unfavourable reviews.

Despite its ups and downs, Re-Volt's legacy lives on through an active community that continuously injects new life into this classic racing gem. As new players navigate its challenging courses, the Revolt community remains a testament to the enduring appeal of this miniature racing masterpiece.