Review | Revhead

Australian customs

Most racing games put players behind the wheel of a car that is ready to race, at best giving them visual tweaks or perhaps a semi-automated upgrade system. Revhead, a 2017 game that somehow has just hit our consoles in 2023, puts the player in the garage where they’ll have to tweak everything themselves manually before hitting the road. Does it make for a fun experience though? Let’s find out!

Close your eyes

You know what they say: don’t judge a book by its cover. But in Revhead’s case, that is not an easy task. Hungarian developer Creative Pudding’s game opens up with a quick introduction video in real time, showing two perfectly still character models driving around in a stiff muscle car, driving in an aesthetically unpleasant desert. One of the two folks is seemingly talking, judging by the subtitles at the bottom of the screen, but you would not notice as none of their faces move and none of ’em has any audio. This 3D world looks like one made out of stock assets that barely mesh, with low resolution textures, barren and flat sandy surfaces and a colour palette that feels way too high on contrast. Ironically enough, despite the game not being a looker at all, the game does present two visual modes: graphics and performance, performing at 30 and 60 frames per second respectively. Since Revhead doesn’t look good even with the slightly increased eye-candy, stick to the higher framerate mode.

We finally eventually get into the shoes of our main character, whose gender we can select between male and female and whose residence is a location in Hungary, though the story immendiately catapults him or her into the vastly varied lands of Australia, starting from the desert but going elsewhere too. Unfortunately, all this begins with one of the least comfortable third person on-foot controls I’ve seen in literal decades, reminding of the late 90’s where developers were still trying to figure out how to implement convincing movement systems for the new 3D. Slow, clunky walking with rather poor animations is combined with a camera that is fixed to the player’s back, with the right stick shockingly not managing said camera but it moving along with the slow turning speed of the character itself. Fortunately, walking isn’t the game’s focus, because it is very poorly made.

Dirty hands

Before long, we do get inside the garage, which is where the game finally starts to click a little bit more. Players get a shocking amount of freedom here: from scouring magazines to find spare parts or used car sales, to taking apart component by component whichever vehicle we have in our possession (or given to us to fix), all the way down to repainting it, cleaning it, changing oil and filling up the fuel tank. Some activites, such as this last one, tasks the player with walking or driving to get what’s needed – such as to the fuel station next door to fill the tank, but for the most part it’s all via simple button presses that don’t quite show the ins and outs of the craft. Whereas, say, in RiMS Racing you’d have to unscrew parts via controller inputs yourself, here the entire oil change process is pressing a single button once. Very simplicistic for a game that puts such emphasis on managing every aspect of the vehicle.

The game’s tiny little open world hubs offer a handful of key locations, such as the aforementioned fuel station or car part shops, but most importantly it has a few race tracks on asphalt and dirt alike where we can put our selection of muscle cars, 4x4s, family vehicles and more to good use after tweaking them towards optimal performance. You will need all the customization, as most stock cars are unable to compete against the game’s AI even in the first events, unless you spent time and money into pimpi-, I mean, tunin’ your ride. There certainly is something beautiful in taking a wrecked family car from the 80’s and turning it into a modern, snappy racing car that smashes all opposition.

In the cockpit

Revhead’s driving model is… hit and miss. It’s an arcade-ish formula with either automatic or manual gear shifting, with the usual racing game trope of AI pretty much driving on a fixed line and not making many mistakes or bold moves to break the pace. The cockpit view is decent and the driving model is serviceable enough, though the outside camera reveals the car’s movement looking all wrong, with every turn making it seem like the car is drifting to the sound of eurobeat like in Initial D when, in reality, the car seems to be cornering with the maximum grip possible, with no sliding or oversteering in sight. Collisions and physics are a bit wonky, so best driving clean and not going over bumps or into opponents.

I already talked about the game’s graphics not being very good at all, and several aspects like animations and the walking being severely undercooked, but unfortunately many aspects of the game also show limited polish. Flickery textures, menus locking up. I even had cases where an in-game dialogue pop-up screen got stuck on screen over other menus and even the race itself, covering half the screen and rendering the game virtually unplayable until rebooted. It feels like there’s not a single aspect of the game that has been fleshed out enough. And with only said single player mode being in, without even any kind of multiplayer to boot, that single game mode having a lot of weaknesses doesn’t bode well.

I stalled the car

Revhead, at its best moments, is a simplified but somewhat enjoyable car management simulator, leading into basic but customizeable races against the AI. Unfortunate that the game’s graphics, presentation, polish and so on range from disappointing to severely lacking, making this 20EUR/USD buy difficult to recommend to anybody.


Played on
Xbox Series X


  • Picking out cars and car parts from the newspaper is nice
  • Solid depth in customization


  • Very unpleasant look, both technically and artistically
  • A lot of glitches
  • Basic driving
  • No multiplayer whatsoever
  • Pretty expensive for what it offers
4.5 out of 10
XboxEra Scoring Policy

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