The balance of the game is really interesting, much more than I appreciated when I played through this the first time – every element to the game seems to have a way of counterbalancing it. Each stage of the game has its own risks and rewards – if you upgrade to a better car, the bonuses scale up, but the repair costs also increase (pretty dramatically towards the end). Going to harder races means a greater cash reward but a greater chance of disqualifying yourself (by being lapped or set on fire) if you’re not prepared, taking the lucrative jobs that pop up occasionally can carry hefty punishments if you fail.
This time through I’ve found some things that I didn’t even see at all last time I played the game, like some of the bonuses or forfeits for meeting certain conditions:
Lapped during a race: All money and bonus payout is reset to 0
Finished race with 0% damage (even if you took damage during the race and then repaired it): $1000xcar level bonus
Destroyed all other cars in race: $1000xlevel bonus
Came first 3(?) times in a row: $1000xlevel bonus
Accepted drug or hit job: $1000xlevel if you complete it, but lose that amount if you don’t
Any more of them?
Each of these is difficult to get in its own way – hanging back is the best way to avoid damage, but you can’t do it too much or you’ll miss your chance of pulling ahead later in the race when you really need to. For that reason, I’ve had a lot of success staying on the Easy races this time and trying to rack up as many of these as possible rather than just trying to come first in the harder ones.
Finished it last night! With 104 races, which seems a bit inefficient of me. One of the things I didn’t appreciate above in how the game is balanced is that the longer you spend messing about in the easy levels, the greater a lead the difficult opponents can build up so you create more work for yourself catching up.
This time around, I chose to spend a long time in the easy races to build up these bonuses and having a strong chance of winning $3000 or so per race with an extra bonus every three races (for destroying other cars and having a winning streak) rather than going for the Medium races, but that set my score back quite a lot and I had to really grind at the end once I had the best car to reach the top of the league.
Yeah, I’m finding the same thing. I think I dabbled too long in the easy races at first and now the guys in the top have an enormous lead. I’m catching up (I’ve got the top car and it’s almost fully upgraded), but it’s taking forever 😀