EXCLUSIVE: Wizpig Wednesday- How Rare Brought R.C. Pro-Am to the 21st Century

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Rare was on the racing genre scene in video games with a developed franchise called R.C. Pro-Am. The vehicles featured in the game were those poplular radio-controlled cars that you would see a lot people controlling remotely out in the streets. It’s a hobby that still continues to this day but one that has wound down quite significantly. Rare took advantage of the popularity at the time and created a very successful brand with the R.C. Pro-Am franchise and its unique isometric overhead view for racing. A couple of sequels (R.C. Pro-Am II, Super R.C. Pro-Am) and an enhanced remake (Championship Pro-Am) were developed off of the success of the original and also received their fair share of praise. Rare had considered reviving the R.C. Pro-Am franchise for the Nintendo 64 but instead opted for developing Diddy Kong Racing. R.C. Pro-Am still returned several years later, albeit in an entirely new form and by a completely different name. It was titled Mickey’s Speedway USA.

There were two different versions of Mickey’s Speedway USA that were developed. One for the Nintendo 64 using a modified Diddy Kong Racing engine and another for the Game Boy Color. The Game Boy Color version of the game both looked and played exactly how R.C. Pro-Am played back in its heyday. Mickey’s Speedway USA retained the same form of gameplay and the same isometric overhead view featured in R.C. Pro-Am. Look at the two videos below and compare the two games for yourself:

R.C. Pro-Am

Mickey’s Speedway USA

Notice the similarities? Both are essentially the same game but with the obvious different courses, themes and characters. Rare had taken a page from their past and brought it to the 21st century via a fresh coat of paint and Disney’s mascot character. Perhaps if the game had been marketed as such it would have caught the attention of many of R.C. Pro-Am’s previous fans and helped to make the title more mainstream at the time. From as far as I can tell it went largely unnoticed. Regardless, Rare brought R.C. Pro-Am back and if anyone is ever willing to give the Game Boy Color version of Mickey’s Speedway USA a proper playthrough, then you too will enjoy a stint of Rare’s past revived for a future generation of gamers.