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Sunday, February 23, 2020


John B. Marine | 9:16 AM | |
"Simcade" is a term racing game fans love or loathe. It is a portmanteau of "simulation" and "arcade," and it relates to racing games that have an equal balance of arcade and simulation without being too lenient either way. A lot of people hate this term. However, it is an accurate term to describe such racing games that are not as hardcore arcade or as hardcore simulation. So would you like a discussion of simcade racing games? Well, you've come to the right place- "John's Race Space!"


Let's discuss "simcades!"

simcade racing game
^ from: - A "simcade" is a racing/driving game with elements of arcade and simulation but without exclusivity to either style. This blog post discusses "simcade" racing/driving games and my thoughts on the concept and word.

In the realm of racing games, you have a variety of different titles focused on one or more types of racing. A lot of racing games provide the quick thrills of racing and even the simple love of speed and competition. Some other racing games provide the closest-possible replication of being in a real vehicle with realistic physics, some even to unforgiving levels. Arcade-type racing games provide such quick thrills like the Need for Speed series, the Burnout series, the Ridge Racer series, the Asphalt series, the Mario Kart series, and more. Simulation-type racing games provide immense realism such as the Gran Turismo series, the Forza Motorsport series, the rFactor series, the GTR series, the Automobilista series, Assetto Corsa, and more. What about the racing games that are not really either arcade or sim? The ones that tend to combine elements of both without being exclusively arcade or simulation are your "simcade" games. Simcade games are games more like the GRID series, the Project CARS series, and more. Some gamers will argue about what games are more arcade-oriented or sim-oriented. Some others will base games on being great arcade or sim racers on how unforgiving they are. Regardless, there is a lot of ground to cover in discussing arcade racing, simulation racing, and simcade racing.

Simcade is meant to be more of a middle ground for arcade and sim types. Even yours truly identifies as a simulation racer, but I have never been exclusively on the sim racing side. I don't brag about having a proper simulation racing rig playing some of the greatest simulation racing games. And really, I don't really use my ancient Logitech Driving Force Pro steering wheel much. Despite this, I still mostly enjoy simulation racing games. I do love racing games in general. So that is why I diversify my willingness to play different racing games. It comes with the territory for a simulation racing game to have such unforgiving elements to it. After all, casually striking a wall or another vehicle in a simulation racer does not magically result in you being able to drive away cleanly.

Why "Simcades?"

I mentioned earlier about the positives and negatives of most racing/driving games. This section explains what makes arcade and simulation racers different from another.

Arcade racing games mostly entail quick thrills. You don't necessarily have to care about proper driving technique, and most arcade racing games do not place heavy emphasis on precision performance driving. These games exist simply to provide the thrill of racing without fully committing to anything serious. You can whack a wall or another vehicle without much penalty at all in an arcade racer. Some arcade racers even encourage you to perform some dangerous or dirty driving. Some arcade racing titles even take place in settings and environments that are anything but your average romp around a proper race track. In other words- intense racing action on city streets, open roads, dangerous environments (such as ruined lands or around active volcanoes), and the like. These games are for the not-so-serious types.

Simulation racing, on the other hand, features a lot of elements of precision. These are games that encourage you to control vehicles as you would in real life. What you do has a consequence depending on how realistic a sim is. So if you were to hit a wall or another vehicle in a simulation, it will seriously alter your performance and may even lead to not complete an event properly. Simulations are key in the sense that they replicate realistic conditions in realistic environments. The better simulation racing games will be the closest you ever get to operating real vehicles, especially simulation racing games that feature licensed vehicles.

Now that you know about arcade racers and simulation racers, put elements of both together to form "simcade" style games.

Are "Simcades" Good or Bad for Racing/Driving Games?

The point of a racing or driving game is to commandeer vehicles and use them in ways to complete tasks. The character of the racing action determines whether or not the level of realism is a key factor in making them great games. The most discriminating racing game fans will look at certain games as being proper sims or proper arcade racing games. You can look at the PC gaming types for instance. They may argue a game like any Gran Turismo is an accessible sim, but it pales in comparison to the most hardcore sim racers mostly on PC.

A "simcade" can be a more inviting game than some titles purely designed for either arcade racing or simulation racing. You can give arcade and simulation types something to enjoy without feeling too pressured about the positives and negatives of either style of racing/driving games. These "simcade" titles can draw in more gamers and please as many racing gamers as possible. That is why such titles become better regarded among gaming types than those exclusively arcade or exclusively simulation.

On top of that, consider the casual gamer, or at least the ones who claim not to be good at any racing/driving games. A "simcade" is a great option for those not reluctant to properly drive a race course with precision driving, or even for drifting into corners at a high rate of speed or performing death-defying driving stunts. Casual gamers are gamers too regardless of their commitment level to gaming. If certain gamers want to try their hand at racing/driving games and not stink at them, a "simcade" can be a great gaming option.

"Simcade," as a Term.

In gaming culture, "simcade" is no more different a gaming term as "Roguelike" or "Metroidvania." The word "simcade" suggests a simulation racing game that has arcade racing elements to it. Think Gran Turismo but with the anything-goes style of Burnout or Wreckfest. There are some people who hate the word "simcade" in general. Well, what else can you call a simulation racing game with arcade racing style? At least "simcade" is not an annoying term or phrase like "bae," "preggo," "preggers," "on fleek," or anything like that. I neither love or loathe the term "simcade." At the same time, I can understand the term and what it entails. You just won't see me cringe or cover my ears whenever "simcade" is mentioned in any light.

Now that I've discussed "simcade" racing games to a great extent, it is time I go ahead and offer my final thoughts on "simcades."

Simcades: Final Thoughts

It is understandable why most gamers dislike the term "simcade" to describe a racing game. At the same time, this is an appropriate term to describe and label a racing game that has both arcade and simulation elements without too much leaning of one style. It is a middle ground style of racing game to please as many people as possible. Hardcore arcade types won't really enjoy a "simcade" if they prefer unrealistic and exciting racing/driving. Hardcore simulation types will dislike "simcades" for not being as unforgiving consequences for foolish driving or punishment for improper driving technique. I think more people will dislike the word "simcade" rather than hate them for the concept. If you are fond of "simcade" racing titles but dislike the word "simcade," what would a better term for this, then? Or should we just do away with "simcade" and simply call such racing games as pure arcade or pure simulation? I don't love or hate the word "simcade," but I know what these racing games are about.

In Case You Are Wondering...

When talking about "simcades" and pure arcade or pure simulation games, I did not mention iRacing. That is because I actually plan on making an individual blog post regarding iRacing that is part of its own special discussion. So stay tuned to "John's Race Space" for more information on that.

Well, I've said enough. Now it's your turn to respond if this topic interests you.

What do you think about "simcade," as a word and as a concept?

I hope you get to enjoy this blog and its posts. It means a lot to me for you to show up and view my content. I do what I can to give you something impressive each time with each post. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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