Never has the gaming industry had it so good. The Covid-19 led lockdown leading to a stuttering economy has left many twiddling their thumbs at home. And, it is into these hands that Microsoft is now getting its acclaimed Forza Street game.
In the history of Microsoft's Forza racing franchise, this is the first time that a free-to-play street racing game has launched on both Android and iOS. By doing so, Microsoft, now has one of its games on a platform that it does not own. The Forza Street, a Miami street racing game, was launched last year for the PCs.
True to form, the Forza Street is more about scoring new cars and giving them as many upgrades as possible than it is about winning the races. The main franchise has two separate series – the Forza Motorsport and the Forza Horizon.
While the Forza Motorsport was developed by Turn 10 Studios as a Gran Turismo type racing sim that takes the player on professional tracks, the Forza Horizon from the Playground Games stable is an open-world driving game where each game takes the gamer into different countries.
The last release from the Forza factor was the Horizon 4 which launched in 2018 while the next title could possibly be released in tandem with the launch of the Xbox Series X.
By making its debut on the smartphone, Microsoft's longest-running Forza franchise could well be testing ground to check how users adapt to what is possibly a scaled -down version of the experience that one gets on a PC or a console. Why would they do that? Just to give a taste of the games so that post-lockdown they upgrade to a console or at least to the PC.
The Forza Street is less about racing and more about timing the pedal press. So, in many ways it is really not what professional gamers seek when they hit the circuit. More than controlling the car, it is about how many times one taps the brake pedal and shifts back to the accelerator pedal, which means it is all about timing.
Having said so, the game is fun to play though it remains to be seen how the controls handle when we get on to the smartphone.