Is iRacing too sim? Is F1 too shiney? Is Burnout too crashy? Is Need for Speed too arcadey? Do you want something that isn’t any single one of those things, but all of those things at the same time? Well Super Woden GP 2 could be the answer.

Developer ViJuDa has followed up the promising but flawed Super Woden GP with a sequel that improves in almost every single way, but not without some minor issues. The issues are minor though and depending on how you play or how much you care, it may not be an problem for you.

The UI is where the game lacks I feel. Super Woden GP 2 uses a Gran Tursmo styled map to find car manufacturers, you garage, events, arcade mode, etc. I found it a bit fiddly with the cursor moving between each icon. Now thisa could be due to my vision issues, plus a need to have something familiar and easy to navigate. That being said though, it has a lot of charm and it did leave a smile on my face being reminded of that era of racing games… without the stupid load times, thankfully.

The other issue really is user dependent. Early game needs a lot of grind to get enough credits to get a car that can compete in early events and whilst there are tips on what cars are best for an event, it isn’t easy to notice. The need to re-run various events isn’t a problem in and of itself, but the reards are so minimal it feelsx it can be a drag when you are eager to sample more of the game. Honestly a tweak to the reward system could work wonders.

Now that being said, there are two areas where Super Woden GP 2 absolutely shines. The first is in the visuals. I grew up in the 80s adoring Super Sprint and Champion Sprint. Then in the 90’s games such as Micro Machines, so I am a sucker for top down racers. Modern titles in art of rally and Circuit Superstars are two of my favourites to see and this is right up there.

The ability to add ‘shaders’ like you’d get in emulation is great and really gives the game various different looks. My preferred one is the CRT retro overlay. The angle and distance of the camera is spot on, giving you enough of a lead on the track to get your lines correct, whist providing a great sense of speed.

But the cherry on top of the cake is in the racing itself. It never feels like it alienates any particular type of racer. From the excellent mix of events, including tracks, 24h events, rally, etc. It has a lovely variety. Whilst the cars are all made up (International Superstar Soccer style), they are clearly based on real world iconic cars and on the whole they all feel unique to drive.

Get the right car into the right event and you will have a wonderful time, close racing that needs yoo to play with a bit of sim mindset, by needing to brake properly and consider racing lines, but doesn’t need to worry too much about minute setups. It can be played with an arcade head too if you want. It provides a stunning package in that respect.

I like having a ‘simple’ pick up and play racer on my Steam Deck and I have all but exhausted my current goto, so this comes at just the right time to get a spot on my daily/weekly list. Due in part to the online leaderboards that give you that reason to push for better laps and trying races again. It works well to keep you engaged.

I am so happy to have got onto Super Woden GP 2, a marked step up from the original and a lovely surprise to end 2023 with.

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