The Roaring ’20s would soon become the Great Depression, beginning in late 1929 and lasting for an entire decade. The economy had suffered a huge relapse worldwide. The U.S. in particular had an unemployment rate of nearly one out of four Americans. The first couple of years of the Great Depression also saw the prohibition of the making and transportation of alcohol, known as the Prohibition era.

Bootlegger’s Racing Story takes place during this era. You play as John Hamerton. Your house is under the risk of foreclosure if you don’t give your dues to Uncle Sam. Normally, you wouldn’t take such risks as transporting alcohol to your local gas station to keep your roof afloat. It was, after all, illegal to do so during this period of time. But John – desperate to do anything to pay off his debts – is willing to take such an endeavor. Even if it means having the police on his tail. Thus, John begins his bootlegging journey.

Busted

The game is…okay. It’s kind of what I expected, considering it’s published by the same company that made 3D PrintMaster Simulator. It’s basically a racing game where you need to get to your destination while evading the police. And the police are very easy to avoid. A little red icon will show up on the mini-map. You simply need to drive around that red dot, and you won’t have the police on your tail.

Not much to say regarding the driving mechanics. It has the same type of arcade-y-ness as many other games in its genre. Though I will say various stats on it, such as speed and handling, can be upgraded by buying components. These components can be bought after making enough successful deliveries.

While the cars themselves look like they belong in the 1930s, I wouldn’t say the same regarding the attire John wears, or even the way the American landscapes look. So while the game does try to portray the 1930s aesthetic, it’s a bit confusing because they got some of it right, but others not so much. The characters’ voices also sound generic. Almost as if…they were made by AI.

Oh, and, uh, here’s something interesting…

Missing executable

I can’t even play this game on my Deck. At first it ran, but now, for some reason, the game just won’t launch. Verifying the files or changing Proton versions didn’t do anything. Now I can’t even give you my recommendations as far as Steam Deck settings. Did I get a bootleg copy?

Good thing I didn’t pay for this game and barely played it for more than an hour. No press kit available either. Remind me to not review a game if it comes from Midnight Games.

TL;DR

The good:

  • if the game actually works, the driving mechanics aren’t that bad
  • vehicle can be upgraded later on by buying upgrades through the in-game money that you earn

The not-so-good:

  • missing executable when trying to launch on Steam Deck? What?
  • poor voice acting
  • some assets in the game don’t properly reflect the 1930s aesthetic, such as the modern-looking landscapes and John’s modern attire
  • police can easily be avoided

Drifting

Not that I would recommend buying, but Bootlegger’s Racing Story will be available on Steam tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Keymailer.

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