Samsung held its annual Unpacked event yesterday, revealing a plethora of products, such as the new S20 line of phones. In an effort to make these phones look appealing to gamers, Samsung also announced that Microsoft's racer Forza Street will come to the Galaxy Store this spring as a free-to-play release. Of course, the game is already available for pre-registration on the Google Play Store, and seeing that I'm an extremely impatient person, I've sideloaded the APK (V29.0.9) to take the title for a spin to see exactly what it has to offer.
The trailer above may look extremely cinematic, but this is actually what Forza Street looks like in action, with tons off quick cuts that purposefully hide the course's corners from the player. Unlike the mainline Forza games on PC and consoles, Forza Street isn't much of a racer. I'd describe it as a F2P drag racing game that's similar in style to the CSR series. This means you won't have direct control over your vehicle (that's right, no steering), and so are limited to the use of two buttons, the gas and a boost.
Each race starts out with a mini-game where you'll have to time the amount of gas given at the starting line so that you take off with some speed. Then you'll have to contend with numerous timing-based events as you turn each corner (which are often hidden from view, forcing course memorization for adequate progress), essentially timing when and where to take your thumb off the gas or boost. At the very least, there's a solid selection of cars on offer, so I guess that's a draw, but really the gameplay is boring and often aggravating, thanks to the always-moving camera.
Forza Street's many camera angles
Forza Street is expected to land on Android as a free-to-play release, and so it's monetized just as poorly as you would expect. Loot boxes are present, along with a stamina system and multiple types of in-game currency. There's also an excruciatingly long forced tutorial that hides all of these shady mechanics from the player in order to get them hooked on the gameplay (if you can call it that) before the hammer drops. As expected, the title's IAPs range up to $99.99 per item, so it's clear the game deviates very little from its inspiration as far as monetization is concerned.
The many ways you can spend your money
I would also like to point out that Forza Street wasn't always called Forza Street. Microsoft originally released the game under the name Miami Street for the Windows 10 platform, a little less than a year ago. Despite many positive reviews on the Microsoft Store, it would seem the top review sums up the experience as "embarrassing to the Forza brand," and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree. The game is a passionless clone that was originally released as the generic racer Miami Street, but then Microsoft decided to slap the Forza name on the title, and now it's being used as a sales prop for upcoming Samsung devices.
Here's a few promo shots from the Play Store
So there you have it. Forza Street began its life as a generic clone, and it will soon be coming to the Google Play Store as well as Samsung's Galaxy Store. While I can't say I will be looking forward to the release since I've already had my fill of its uninspired timing-based gameplay, I suppose if you are a huge CSR Racing fan, or simply enjoy exploring racing games that provide a solid selection of vehicles, then you may find a few hours of fun inside of Forza Street. So if you're eager to take a look for yourself, feel free to pre-register through the Play Store widget below so that you'll receive a notification whenever the game is launched on Android this spring.