One of my favorite video game genres over the last couple of years has been the co-op genre. This genre has really seen a growth in recent years and has branched out into a bunch of different premises. There is just something really satisfying about a good co-op game where you have to work well with your teammates. This brings me to the game I am taking a look at today, Speed Crew. Speed Crew is an interesting twist on the genre since it adds a pit crew theme to the formula. I am not a fan of racing, but I was intrigued since it was an interesting premise for the genre. Speed Crew is a unique and fun twist on typical cooperative games, that fans of the genre should really enjoy.
In Speed Crew you play as one of the members of a pit crew. Your team is competing to win a racing championship through a series of races. The team that places the highest in all of the races wins the championship.
Each race in Speed Crew has a number of cars that stop at your pit stop needing repairs. You and your teammates will use a diagnostic machine to quickly diagnose what is wrong with each car. Then you need to fix the issues as quickly as possible in order to place higher in the race. Each car that arrives has a randomized set of issues that you need to deal with.
Throughout the game you will encounter a number of different car repairs that your team needs to deal with. To start the game you will fix dents/damage to the car’s body as well as damaged tires. You eventually move onto refueling cars, fixing the engines, putting out fires, and knocking off trash/dirt. As you advance through the game you will acquire different tools that fix these issues in different ways.
Most of the gameplay revolves around using the right tool and interacting with the area of the car that has an issue. Sometimes this will immediately fix the damage. Other times you may need to take off the part and fix it at a different location before returning it to the car.
To make things a little more challenging, there are a number of obstacles that make your job more difficult. Most levels have some sort of hindrance that makes it more difficult than just dealing with the issues from each car. Some levels you will have to avoid oncoming traffic. Others have you walking across moving platforms or using lifts. Sometimes you have to deal with a rival that keeps sabotaging the cars you are working on. These are just a few of the obstacles that you will have to deal with.
Since this genre of cooperative games is easily one of my favorite genres, I was curious how Speed Crew would stack up. It is not the best co-op game that I have ever played, but I would say that is one of the better ones that I have played recently. I attribute this to a couple factors.
First the gameplay is just fun and pretty unique for the genre. I personally have no real interest in racing/street racing. Yet Speed Crew’s gameplay is still quite compelling. The game succeeds because it follows the framework which makes the best games from this genre work. On the surface the gameplay is really simple, and yet it has depth to it. You have to handle a bunch of different tasks to complete at the same time. This requites you to regularly switch between the different tasks that need to be completed. You need to work well with your teammates in order to make things work smoothly. I think Speed Crew could still be fun solo, but the game is much more enjoyable with friends. Divvying up the tasks and being efficient in getting all of the jobs done in time is really satisfying.
This is combined with the game’s simple concept. There is no need for a long tutorial. You only use a couple different buttons throughout the game. The mechanics are straightforward enough that most of them are explained through a picture that displays each time a new mechanic is added to the game. Most of these require just a couple button presses and moving to the right location. The game is streamlined to a point where it is not filled with a bunch of unnecessary mechanics. Instead it focuses on the core mechanics that are the most enjoyable.
With this genre of co-op games, developers tend to go one of two ways. Some developers mostly design levels around completing the task ahead of you without too much interference from the obstacles. Other games rely quite a bit more on the obstacles that get in your way to make the levels more difficult. I would say that Speed Crew is closer to the first with a greater emphasis on just fixing the cars. The levels still have obstacles to overcome (some can be hard to deal with). Most of your success will come from being able to fix the cars quickly. The game is still quite silly, but I like that it doesn’t get bogged down by focusing more on the obstacles than the core gameplay.
So lets move onto the game’s difficulty. I personally didn’t find Speed Crew to be all that difficult. There are a couple levels that we had a few issues with, but we ended up getting first place on most of the levels in our first or second attempt. In some of the levels our success came down to what damage the incoming cars had. Since it appears to be completely random what issues each car has, if you have a good stretch of cars you can rack up points quickly. If you get a lot of cars that are hard to deal with though, your score will likely suffer.
I think there are a couple contributing factors to why I found the game to be on the easier side. First we played a pre-release version of the game. The developers said they were still working on balancing some of the levels so this likely was a contributing factor. Second since these co-op games are one of my favorite genres I have played a lot of similar games in the past. Speed Crew is a unique game in the genre, but certain elements cross over from other games in the genre. This meant that we already had a pretty good grasp on how to do well in these games before we even started playing. Finally I played the game with only two players. Other player counts might be more challenging.
I see the difficulty being both a positive and a negative. On the positive side Speed Crew is really easy to pick up and play. That makes it a good family/party game that you can play with people who don’t generally play a lot of video games. If you want a game that you can just sit back and enjoy without too much stress, it likely will be just right for you. If you play a lot of games from the genre and want a challenge though, you might be disappointed.
As for the story and atmosphere, Speed Crew is solid. The story is a little hit or miss. It has some funny moments, and some other moments that were meant to be funny but weren’t. The game’s story clearly relies on referencing/making fun of the Fast and Furious franchise. As for the visuals, I think the game does a good job. The game’s art style is kind of cartoony, but it works well for the game.
When it comes to Speed Crew’s length I can’t give you a definitive number. There are a few factors that will determine how long the game will take. It probably took me around 7-8 hours to 100% the game and acquire all of the trophies. The game has a total of 48 levels. The length of each level can range from a couple of minutes in the early game, to 10-15 minutes in the late game. To get first in all of the races you will have to replay some of them a couple times. If you just want to beat all of the levels it will obviously take less time than if you want to get first in every single race and get all of the achievements. I would guess that most players could beat the game in around 6-10 hours.
Heading into Speed Crew I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I wouldn’t consider myself the ideal audience for the theme, but the premise really intrigued me. After playing through the game, I really enjoyed my time with it. Speed Crew is an interesting twist on the cooperative genre adding in pit crew mechanics. The game works surprisingly well as the theme fits naturally into the genre. The gameplay is straight to the point and quite fun. It is easy to pick up and play, and yet complex enough to be compelling. It is really fun playing the game with other players trying to fix as many cars as quickly as possible. If you are a fan of the cooperative genre, I think you will get a lot of enjoyment out of Speed Crew.
I did find the game to be on the easier side though. The game is still going through some balancing so that may be fixed before the final release. I also play a lot of games from this genre so that may be a factor as well. This does make the game more accessible to players, but you may be a little disappointed that it isn’t more challenging. Otherwise I wish Speed Crew was a little longer. The game is not short, but I wish there was a little more to the game especially since I was still really enjoying the game when it ended.
My recommendation for Speed Crew is pretty simple. If you don’t generally like cooperative games, I don’t think Speed Crew will be for you. If you like the genre though and have even a passing interest in the theme, I think you will really enjoy Speed Crew and should consider picking it up.
Release Date: June 8, 2023 – Nintendo Switch, January 31, 2024 – PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X|S | Systems: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X|S
Developer: Wild Fields | Publisher: Wild Fields | ESRB Rating: Everyone for Mild Fantasy Violence
Genres: Action, Co-Op, Indie, Multiplayer
Official Website: https://wildfieldsgames.com/
- A fun twist on your typical co-op game.
- Easy to pick up and play and a blast to play with friends.
- Feels a little too easy at times.
- I wish it was a little longer.
Recommendation: For fans of co-op games that have at least a little interest in the pit crew theme.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Wild Fields for the review copy of Speed Crew used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.