Art of Rally is like a merger of Lonely Mountains (2020)… and rallying! Hell yeah! Oh yes, plus there’s Zen Buddhism thrown into the mix.
It was created to celebrate the golden years of Group A, B, and S rallying from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Whilst aiming to chill you out. Here we go, then.
Go All Zen in Art of Rally
From Dune Casu, the one-man indie studio Funselektor Labs Inc. in Nelson of Canada, this thing is OUT NOW on the Nintendo Switch, PS, Xbox, and Steam.
As the Art of Rally was designed to pay homage to rallying’s past, it’s quite a heavily stylised vision of the sport.
If you watch rallying (and we pay loose attention to it), the sport is about as terrifying and high octane as it gets.
Due to the close proximity to the likes of trees, wildlife, and spectators it’s often more visually dramatic than Formula 1. Even though it’s much slower.
Clearly a big fan of the sport, Casu provides a loving artistic representation of rallying in its most mystical era. Behold!
Behind the shiny veneer (and the game really does look lovely), there’s also a pretty intense racing game to be found.
From a beginner level up, players will need to get used to the control system. This isn’t Mario Kart 8 or Hotshot Racing pick-up-and-play sort of stuff.
You need to spend some time mastering drifting, braking, and cornering.
But once you’ve got the basics you’re away. With the general goal being to complete each course as quickly as possible. Like this.
There’s a career mode for you to work through, which’ll occupy most of your time. But various other options, like time attack and all that.
Plus, there are 60+ stages! And they’re across the likes of Finland, Norway, and Japan. The latter includes pink cherry blossoms and it’s all rather fantabulous.
Or there’s Kenya, where you blast across the dessert with zebra and giraffes hanging around nearby. Plus, sunsets!
The inclusion of spectators by the side of the road is also novel. They mill about your car as you take corners (that happens in rallying, of course, and is one of the most terrifying and stunning aspects of the sport).
But the cars take centre stage, with over 50 iconic vehicles from the ’60s through to the ’80s.
Group B rallying from the ’80s is particularly iconic, with images of Henri Toivonen (1956-1986) entering your mind whilst you play.
Unfortunately, his fatal accident led to the FIA changing the nature of rallying so it wasn’t quite as insanely dangerous.
But, anyway, as for Art of Rally—it’s part racing game, Buddhist experience, and historical record.
All whilst providing an authentic and challenging rallying experience.
If you like this sort of thing it’s well worth a shot, not least for its visual appeal and overall balance between excitement and chillout splendour.