The 2018 Chicago Auto Show, besides having loads of cars, had a wide array VR experiences as well as a few racing simulators. Hyundai's Veloster N in Forza 7 experience or and Ford's huge multi-axis driving rig should have been the highlights. But the best experience comes from Toyota, and it isn't new or high-tech by a long-shot: Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off Road racing arcade cabinet.
Maybe you've played this old-school arcade game with pixelated graphics and super simple gameplay. It all plays out from a top-down perspective of the track, making the trucks on-course look almost like tiny R/C cars. And all you get to control your truck is a steering wheel that can spin freely, forever, in either direction, a "Nitro" button, and one pedal, the gas. On top of all that, you don't actually sit in a seat, you stand there, possibly with two other friends.
Compared to more modern games, Super Off Road is a total blast. Whipping the weird freewheeling steering wheel as quickly as you can in the right direction, followed by a hint of opposite lock to straighten your tiny truck back out, is addictive. The controls are very tight, and the silky smooth wheel feels great. It's also fun to hammer on the "Nitro" button to blast past the opposition. You hardly need to worry about the gas pedal either because you can just keep dialing in more steering.
And of course, the best part of all this is that it's free to play at the show, and Toyota will have both cabinets running during the public show. So you and your friends can rip up the dirt between checking out all the shiny sheetmetal on the floor. And hopefully, since up to six people can be racing at a time between the games, lines won't be horribly long. It's a blast from the past that's still a blast today and worth trying out.
The best virtual racing at the Chicago Auto Show is this classic arcade cabinet originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Feb 2018 16:01:00 EST.