Cranks & Goggles Puts Rubber To The Early Access Road

I spent about one twenty-fourth of my weekend playing Cranks & Goggles [official site] – it’s a beautifully styled racing game set in the late 1920s/early 1930s. It’s still in Early Access so ALL THE USUAL DISCLAIMERS but come see how lovely it is with the little puffs of dust and the blocky motorcars!

I feel like it’s definitely the sort of game where I’m going to always call the vehicles “motorcars” and talk in a very posh British accent as I narrate my races – a kind of Downton-Abbey-meets-Murray-Walker type affair with lapses into inventive swearing.

The control system doesn’t feel very intuitive to me at the moment. It’s WASD but where W is accelerate, S is brake, A and D are to turn the car in a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. I’m always far more at home with a control pad when it comes to driving games. According to a response on the Steam community page controller support is being factored into the next development sprint. Graham has also pointed me towards JoyToKey as something that might be useful in the interim.

Anyhoodle, it’s a promising thing and I do really like the aesthetics. If they’re taking suggestions I’d say it would be cool to be able to play as an adventurous lady as well as the moustachio-ed gents, jamming on my helmet and heading to the roads to break some records.

Cranks & Goggles is £4.99/5,99€/$6.99 on Steam Early Access.


  1. Llewyn says:

    I just love the poster-style race selection screen. Not sure whether I’d get excited about the game itself though; top-down racers always seem to disappoint me with their controls/input, regardless of options. And WASD is awful for a racer – if it’s keyboard then steering and speed should be controlled by different hands IMO.

  2. karnak says:

    This sure brings some memories

    • Jekhar says:

      I never played Slicks’n’Slide, but it supposedly was an important influence for the Räbinä brothers. Makers of my favourite “modern” top down racer Generally. It’s still great (and free), get it! link to

      Some guys are even working on a sequel, but only on their spare time. So that might take a while.

      • karnak says:

        Gene Rally was excellent!

        • something says:

          It looks like there was a kickstarter for GeneRally 2 that passed this month without success. I’m sure if it had a bit more attention, it would’ve made it. RPS should keep half an eye on that.

  3. RaoulDuke says:

    I also adore that poster, seems like they were thought of before the game concept they are so good.

    “If they’re taking suggestions I’d say it would be cool to be able to play as an adventurous lady as well as the moustachio-ed gents”

    It would be cool, I’d guess that there aren’t female drivers because they are working on making the actual game. Variety is always great and female drivers would be great for those that want to play as them, but would it actually change how you played the game/be distinguishable from male drivers, gameplay-wise?

    Sorry Philippa, I don’t mean this to be a personal attack on you at all, you are just making a suggestion for a game you are interested in so this is in no way directed *at* you.

    Maybe I get it in a narrative game like Tomb Raider where a man vs a woman main character could present different gameplay styles, like the woman not being able to fight men in hand-to-hand combat/grapple with them [Even from stealth] or open heavy doors/set up heavy traps and the guy can’t move as fast, cant use certain narrow/fragile paths through the environment or use fast/silent weapons/traps [That example is probably super cliche but its just an example off the top of my head].

    But when given the chance to reinvent Lara Croft in Tomb Raider + RotTR they totally ignore all the realities of being a female and have a 120-pound woman going around choking out huge burly men and killing them instantly with a blow to the head with a rock. I’d bet even burly men can’t easily choke out other burly men without a freaking garrote or something. So when solid snake chokes a guy out its quite far-fetched but he *is* a veteran of several wars… when Lara Croft does it is very, very, very far-fetched. They would probably throw her forward over their shoulders and slam her on the ground.

    I’ve gone off on a tangent but I just wanted to express my *groan* at reading that on so many game articles these days, if you were a man and said you wished they would add women i would be writing the same thing but with some parts reversed.

    I feel like devs must read that and say – “File in mind-drawer marked: things to think about when we’ve made a flippin’ working game” and them not delivering it becomes a deficiency when if they made the characters robots no-one would have said anything, even though the two are indistinguishable animation/gameplay-wise.

    I view having a lack of choice of genders [in game that can actually have it, obv you cant complain that Geralt isn’t a man, thats stupid, even more so since it comes from other source material] a bit like complaining what colour the seats are on a train – the train company made them that way, its probably arbitrary, or based on the designers favourite colour or a colour palette that he saw and is now subconsciously reproducing.

    My point is its complex and it may be completely arbitrary or it may be deliberate or it may be based on previously built trains, or… etc and having devs constantly be considering whether all visual differences that separate the different parts of the human race need to be represented in their game, I think it will only stifle creativity in the long run.

    TL;DR – Blah, Blah, Gender-politics opinions! Blah, Blah Lindy Cruft is not as gud now. Blah, Blah, please just make good games and please consider the genders of the characters at the end unless you base the gameplay/story around the different traits of that gender. I’m just fed up with all this one-sided gender discussion.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      If yellow train seats had suffered under systematic oppression for millenia your analogy might start to make sense. As it is, it’s plain insulting. The notion that broadening your view to cover all humans, not just the ones that get all the credit already, might stifle creativity is utterly mad. Perhaps it will stifle the creativity of bigots, but I’m cool with that.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      If roughly 95% of games had female leads, wouldn’t you be asking for representation and more diversity too? This is a worthwhile suggestion. A female character in this game would be fairly trivial and be a nice option for many. I think it’d fit in perfectly. This is also the right time to suggest it because it’s the start of Early Access.

  4. Unsheep says:

    I’m sure the Codemasters fanboys will try playing this with their wheels, and complain to no end when it won’t work.

  5. trjp says:

    I’ll be all-over this when it gets controller support

    No interest until then tho – keyboard driving games are not my cuppa?!