Considering it’s a Forza game, we’re tempted to say every fan of the famous racing saga will love this new iteration. However, Forza Street is actually a rebranding/remake of Miami Street, a Forza spin-off of some sorts released around a year ago; a game that everyone cataloged as rather mediocre. What's new here is that what was once a mobile game is now a new addition to Microsoft's PC catalog, so it's up to you to try (for free) this mobile experience in your Windows computer. Hey, mobile game mechanics on PC are nothing new!
What to Expect
Let us tell you what *not* to expect: this is not even close to being what the Forza franchise has accustomed us to. Yes, this is a racing game, but don't expect a port ala Forza Horizon or Forza Motorsport. Forza Street is actually a mobile game that happens to also be available on PC, so the gameplay (more on that later) is not focused on the races themselves but everything around it, like upgrading your cars, unlocking events, and waiting for an energy refill before your next step.
Like in every other mobile game, loot boxes and microtransactions are a big part of Forza Street, although you can go the free-to-play way and ignore all the shortcuts.
When your game is nothing new in terms of gameplay, you have to rely on something else. That's why we should mention Forza Street's graphics since with its faithful car designs, beautiful night tracks, and a clean and colorful UI, it tries to compensate other lacking areas. You won't find a photorealistic game in here, but at least we can say it's on par with other similar racing games you can find on the App Store or Google Play.
If you play on a higher resolution, however, it's true that things start to look less sharp, so we think Forza Street will look way better when played on a mobile device.
There really isn't much to say here. Maybe other games put a lot of effort into emulating the real sounds of each car's engine, but this is not the case. During races, sound effects and roaring engines are nothing otherworldly, yet they serve its intended purposes. In addition to that, the soundtrack's only goal is to have something playing in the background to avoid total silence. Characters don't speak, the songs don't have much impact on the gameplay (races are too short for enjoying a song while driving), and after a few minutes playing you'll be involuntarily ignoring the music anyways... but does this mean it's a bad game in terms of music/soundtrack? You be the judge!
Forza Street's story is pretty much what you would expect from a game like this: you're the new guy on the streets, slowly earning a reputation and facing the best racers from each corner of the city. Kiko will be helping you with the basics while Alicia is a TV host documenting everything that happens in the races. The other characters you'll find are your 4 rivals, interacting with you (or Alicia) before, during and after every event. All in all, the plot is just an excuse to keep you collecting cars and racing for more money, credits, and upgrades, so even though it's nice to have some background, you won't miss too much if you just skip the dialogues.
To play this game, all you need is using your mouse (or 3 keys of your keyboard) since there's no steering, drifting, or anything like that. This is the weak point of Forza Street because it being a Forza game, you would expect similar gameplay to its Xbox counterparts, right?
Story races are divided into 4 chapters, each of them presenting you with several events referred to a category of cars. Said categories are Muscle, Sports, Super and, Street, but all 54 cars are also divided into 3 sub-categories: Retro, Modern, and Classic. At the same time, you can race in other modes for a chance to win upgrade parts or new, better cars. The thing is you can have different cars competing in different events, since upgrading your vehicles also boosts your Collector Level, allowing you to have extra cars in your lineup.
Moving around the map decreases your Energy Points, and recovering 1 Energy Point takes 4 minutes. Other timed events refresh daily or every few days, so you'll need to free your agenda or plan all your steps very carefully if you want to do some min-maxing. Obviously, you can also spend real money to buy new cars and upgrades, but since you're not directly competing against other people (yet, at least), there's absolutely no point in hurting your wallet.
It all would be OK if the races weren't as sad and flat as they are. As we already stated, you only need your mouse to play, and that's because Forza Street is all about your clicks. Timing your starting is crucial because that way you can fill your nitro meter faster; holding your left click (or space bar) gets the car going, and that's all you need to do until the next corner, where you'll have to release your finger at the right spot for a Perfect Brake. After the turn, you'll need to time your left click again for a Perfect Gas, and that's pretty much all you'll be doing time after time. As you go, the nitro meter will slowly refill and then you can use the right click for a boost, so learning when to use it is kind of the only strategic part of a race.
Better cars have better PI# (Performance Index Number) so for example, you'll need a car with a PI of 450 to beat a car with a PI of 436. You can outperform a slightly better car if you do a perfect run, and if there's a difference greater than 20 PI points between you and your rival, you can simply skip the race and get a quick win. Another thing to keep in mind is that when you lose or finish a race, your car is damaged and you will have to use wrenches to repair it and keep competing, so using cars with a greater Star Level (from 1 to 5) means using/buying more wrenches.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
It would be an OK-ish mobile game if it wasn't for this Forza rebranding putting a lot of pressure on it. It's easy to hate on big franchises going mobile (do you guys not have phones?), but it's easier if you present a mobile game on PC while the Android and iOS versions are not available yet...
All that being said, we're sure a lot of people likes this genre and is willing to download Forza Horizon once available on iOS and Android. Let's see what happens when the multiplayer mode releases!
It’s an OK game if you need something to kill some time.
Loot boxes and min-maxing can get very addictive if you like this kind of games.
The gameplay is too simple, especially if you’re playing on PC.
Very few and short, repetitive circuits will make it really difficult for you to stay motivated.
The story is so generic you don’t even need to pay attention...
We were about to mention microtransactions, but you’re not spending a single dollar on this game, are you?
Honey's Final Verdict:
For what it's worth, Forza Street is a valid attempt at attracting more people to what was previously known as Miami Street. However, Microsoft should know that in the context of a world where big companies like Blizzard or Bethesda have been criticized for bringing their famous franchises to subpar smartphone games, people will be asking even more from a game that has "Forza" in its title.
Although Forza Street is not a game that we would fervently recommend, we must say we're probably getting it when it releases on mobile, just because it's free and we personally enjoy this kind of time-killing games. If you want to try it for yourself, head to the Microsoft store and download it now... or not, because you won't be missing much anyways.
Author: Rod Locksley
Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...