Speed freaks

Challenge your driving skills in this fun racing game.

We love a good racing game, and Ultra Nitro Racers certainly qualifies as one. This well-done program lets players challenge their driving skills in three different game modes. It's not easy, but it's a lot of fun.

The program's graphics and sounds effects are both professionally done; we had no complaints about either. To get started, select your desired game mode and car. At first there's only one car to choose from, but earning points as you advance through the game unlocks other options. Ultra Nitro Races offers three games modes: Competition, Quick Race, and Time Attack. Competition mode is the typical race against other cars, with the opportunity to earn points and time limits that will keep slow drivers out of contention. Quick Race is a practice mode, letting you learn the courses without the pressure of scoring or time limits. Time Attacks pits players against a ghost car representing their own best time. Controlling the car definitely takes some practice; keyboard arrows are used for left, right, forward, and backward, and the Control and Alt keys are used as the brake and the "nitro" button, which gives players extra speed. Our first attempts at playing Ultra Nitro Racers looked like a drunk-driving PSA, but it didn't take us long to start to get the hang of it. The game doesn't have much in the way of a Help file, just a screen defining the keys for each function, but that was plenty. Overall, we found Ultra Nitro Racers to be an enjoyable and high-quality game, and we recommend it.

Ultra Nitro Racers installs a desktop icon without asking and leaves a Start menu item, desktop icon, and folder behind upon removal.

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