Professional races may require the best technology there is when it comes to aerodynamics, fuel efficiency and engine power output, but that is not always what matters in street races. Despite the general lack of organization, there are multiple car “classes” that compete in them, ranging from Japanese technology, to good old American classics.
Illegal races with strict rules
American Lowriders is center around the latter category and it features some of the most famous cars from the 70's and the 80's, for a total of twelve iconic vehicles. In the beginning, you are given a certain amount of cash, which can be used to purchase one of the cars that are available from the get-go. Naturally, you can either choose to spend on an expensive car and be left with little to no money, or take on a slightly more modest model and spent the remaining cash on modifications.
Once you tune your ride, you can head out to the streets and compete against the other drivers. In order to do that, you can either wait for other racers to come along, or you can view a list with the best drivers out there and call the one you want to challenge. The competitions, on the other hand, are about as dull as they can be, since you get disqualified if you hit the opponent three times and there's no traffic on the streets, while invisible walls block any attempt to use alternative routes.
A wide range of customization options
Since looks and performance are just as important in order to gain street cred, the game allows you to modify your car in a variety of ways, whether it's cosmetics or performance. Naturally, one of the key upgrades is the addition of hydraulics, which also allow you to enter special “Lowrider” competitions and show off your ability to make the car dance or jump in a variety of ways.
The game wins extra points when it comes to the graphic engine as well, since it does a marvelous job at rendering the cars and the environment, although the latter is rather unimpressive from a design point of view. The vehicles, on the other hand, contain an impressive amount of detail, as well as realistic reflections that glitter under the city lights. Despite that, the lack of a damage system is a bit disappointing, even if the “no crashes” rule would make it almost obsolete.
Expand your car collection
Although American Lowriders suffers from a few flaws, it is by no means a bad game, since it can be quite fun to play. On the other hand, the lack of traffic, car damage and more detailed environments can make it a rather shot-lived experience, especially since the twelve available cars are not enough to keep you playing for too long.