Nintendo’s F-Zero racing game series idled its high-powered engines for the past 20 years, but it’s back now – as an online game. Nintendo announced F-Zero 99 during the September Direct, a blend of SNES F-Zero with a few new features and multiplayer play that supports matches with up to 99 people.
It’s essentially Pac-Man 99, but with F-Zero. You pick your favorite machine, manage classic F-Zero race courses at unbelievably high speeds, blow up a few times, and hope that you might actually finish.
Machines have a boost meter and a meter that functions like car health. Your boost meter lets you, well, boost for a short time, though it’s a real risk-reward situation. You might speed your way ahead of the competition – or you could end up in last place.
Bumping into objects or crashing too often depletes your car health, until eventually, you erupt into flames – not an ideal outcome. If you’re lucky, though, you can jump onto the Skyway, a narrow course above the main racetrack that helps push you ahead of your rivals.
F-Zero 99 comes with goals and objectives that reward you with medals, which you can use to customize your machine. These are just cosmetic changes and don’t influence how your machine performs.
Like Pac-Man 99 before it, F-Zero 99 is only available for active Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, though you don’t need the Expansion Pack to access it. Pac-Man 99 lasted two years and shuts down in October 2023. How long Nintendo plans to keep F-Zero 99 around remains uncertain.
Written by Josh Broadwell on behalf of GLHF