Review: F-Zero 99


F-Zero 99 brings the SNES classic into a modern gameplay loop as part of the Nintendo online abonnement. Focusing on mass multiplayer the game is not the successor a lot of players long for but still an enjoyable racing game.

F Zero 99 uses the style of music, controls and graphics but transfers it into a battle royal like multiplayer mode. 99 players compete in races of 4 laps for the victory on various tracks with different t layouts and design. Before each race while the lobby is filling with enough players one of 4 different vehicles can be selected offering a different trade-off between acceleration and top speed. The 99 players start on a bi starting area all next to each other which funnels into the actual racetrack on the first meters. As in the original a power meter shows the remaining energy of the vehicle, and the race is over if the power meter is zero and your vehicle explodes. Contact with the track borders and other enemies cause damage and reduce the power meter. Using a boost also consumes power making the usage a strategic element to play with. At the end of each lap a loading strip similar as a pit lane can be used to recharge the power. Same as in the original arriving at the power strip with almost zero energy after passing multiple opponents with a boost is extremely rewarding. However, since with 98 opponents on track contact cannot always be avoided and some races can be full of carnage as most of your energy in the first lap will be gone due to the sheer number of collisions. During the race golden pearls can be collected filling a boost meter. A full boost meter allows to active a super boost which will make your vehicle jump to a kind of fast lane above the actual circuit thus overtaking enemies.

Besides the F-Zero 99 mode there are special modes that change depending on the weekly program. For some of those events tickets must be spent which are gained in the standard F-Zero 99 mode beforehand. There is a team mode in which the team scoring most points in the race wins. Points are scored by pushing enemies or using the spin of the vehicle to hit them. Bonus-Points are scored for eliminating other players completely thus brining their power to zero. The idea of a team mode sounds interesting, but it is not more than a nice bonus mode. Since the races are often quite chaotic driving clear maneuvers against opponents is quite impossible making it hard to judge what is the own contribution of the team’s overall performance.

Grand-Prix and Mini-Grand-Prix modes are a series of either five or three races. The first race is like F-Zero 99 mode, however after each race 10 or 20 players are eliminated reducing the number of drivers each round till the final race. This mode is the most interesting as it combines the entertainment of the standard mode with the additional challenge to make it into the next round.

Typic for a service game with hourly and daily changing events F-Zero 99 comes with a level system and further reward systems. Achievements can unlock new skins for your pilot and ship and in each race 4 players with different rank are selected as your rivals. Beating as many rivals as possible will score you points and allow you to increase your Rival-Level.

Finding a race worked flawlessly and connection was always stable. F-Zero 99 manages to recreate the atmosphere of the SNES game with nice and fluent 16 Bit graphics. Still waiting for a real successor of the F-Zero X and GX games F-Zero 99 is a nice game for casual short racing sessions.


  • nice idea to battle royal to F-Zero facing
  • stylish 16 bit graphics
  • Grand Prix mode motivates to get to final round


  • team mode to hectic
  • only casual multiplayer, no real single-player mode


Sample Title 77%


“F-Zero 99 combines future arcade racing with battle royal in the style of the SNES game. It is fun to play some rounds in F-Zero 99 and Gran Prix mode. Still it does not make up for a real sequel of the series that so many fans are waiting for”

Screenshots and Videos: own screen captures