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Platform Racing 2 (commonly abbreviated PR2) is a 2008 online multiplayer racing Flash game that was developed by Jacob Grahn.

The game went on to become his most successful project, receiving over 33 million plays on Kongregate alone and becoming one of the most popular independent online Flash games of all time when it was released, having 2 thousand people online simultaneously at its peak.

Platform Racing 2's popularity led to its nomination for multiple awards and a sequel being released 2 years later.

Pre-Release

Interest in a follow-up to Platform Racing was first revealed in a September 2007 post by Jiggmin, where he gave a tentative release date of New Year.[1] While the holiday passed without word, he officially announced on Newgrounds that a sequel was in the works on January 15th.[2]

A preview of the game was later posted on jiggmin.com in February.[3] This build only included the level editor, as a contest was held for players to potentially get their level on the campaign. Multiplayer servers were set up within a few weeks and PR2 remained in open beta for the next 2 months while updates continued being added. Accounts were shared with Volly-Bounce to prevent people from impersonating each other, a link that even continued into the full game.

Gameplay

Platform Racing 2 is an online racing side-scroller where players race and battle against each other on-foot in community-made levels.

Racers in the campaign level "Mario Bros remix v.1.3(time attack)".

Item blocks scattered throughout maps provide players with a random item when bumped, which can give them an advantage over others depending on the course. As the maximum attainable speed has drastically increased, matches are considerably faster paced than the original and require greater skill to come out on top.

The game introduces numerous improvements to the series. For one, players are now able to create an account with a unique username and password that can be accessed from anywhere.

PR2's lobby with the account and campaign tabs active.

The ranking system also received an overhaul; instead of ranks specifically being awarded, an experience point system was added, where racers receive an amount that depends on how well they placed, the ranks of their opponents and how long it took them to finish among other factors. After collecting a set amount that grows exponentially, they'll rank up and gain an extra stat point that can increase their speed, acceleration or jumping height. With this change, ranks are vastly lower overall than the first game.

Chatting was also expanded; as along with the main chatroom on the lobby, racers are able to create custom rooms and an in-game chat was added for them to talk while playing levels. They can also exchange private messages and permanently add someone to their ignored/friend lists.

The most notable inclusion is the level editor, which allows anyone to create their own map and save it if they have an account. 

The new level editor.

Around half of the blocks were brought over from the first game with minor changes, while the rest are brand new. Backgrounds are available for players to give to their level, or they can draw their own. Options are also available for setting its song, gravity, time limit and game mode among others. "Test" allows them to try their course before publishing it for others to play, where they can have any stat or hat.

Maps are rated via a 1-5 star system after players finish or forfeit. The ones with the highest score by number of ratings are featured on either "All Time Best" or "Today's Best" depending on when they were published.

Customization

See also: Platform Racing 2/Body Parts

See also: Platform Racing 2/Hats

In addition to the original set, players can now style their avatar using a variety of different body parts. All members start with 9 default parts each for their head, body and feet, and more can be earned through playing. Some serve as prizes exclusive to campaign levels while others may require them to login on a certain date to receive them.

The game also introduces hats to the series, which provide players with an extra ability when worn.

Campaigns

Main article: Platform Racing 2/Campaigns

The game has several campaigns that new players are intended to play through first, each made of 9 levels. As a result they effectively serve as the most popular courses. The first stage acts as a tutorial, while the last one is a challenging level that awards a hat to those who finish it. The other maps also have a unique prize when played with 4 people.

Originally PR2 only had one campaign, though more were added between 2011 and 2013, each based around a certain theme: (speed, space exploration, etc.). The last one features a fan-chosen set of levels that changes monthly.

Blocks

All blocks from the original game return and players are able to use 17 new types for their levels as well.

Block Name Description
Platform Racing 2 - Start Block.svg Start Spawn point for a player.
Platform Racing 2 - Basic Block 1.png Basic 1 Normal blocks you can stand on.
Platform Racing - Basic Block 2.svg Basic 2
Platform Racing - Basic Block 3.svg Basic 3
Platform Racing - Basic Block 4.svg Basic 4
Platform Racing - Brick Block.svg Brick Poorly made material that shatters if bumped from below.
Platform Racing - Finish Block.svg Finish Marks the end of a level when bumped.
Platform Racing 2 - Ice Block.svg Ice Makes players slide around.
Platform Racing - Item Block.svg Item Gives out 1 random item.
Platform Racing 2 - Infinite Item Block.svg Infinite Item Never runs out of items.
Platform Racing 2 - Left Block.svg Left Pushes players to the left.
Platform Racing 2 - Right Block.svg Right Forces players to the right.
Platform Racing 2 - Up Block.svg Up Pushes players upwards.
Platform Racing 2 - Down Block.svg Down Holds players down.
Platform Racing 2 - Mine.png Mine Explodes when touched.
Platform Racing 2 - Crumble Block.png Crumble Breaks if hit too hard.
Platform Racing 2 - Vanish Block.png Vanish Disappears for 2 seconds when touched.
Platform Racing 2 - Move Block.svg Move Moves around in random directions.
Platform Racing 2 - Water Block.svg Water Swim!
Platform Racing 2 - Rotate Right Block.png Rotate Right Rotates the level 90° clockwise.
Platform Racing 2 - Rotate Left Block.png Rotate Left Rotates maps 90° counterclockwise.
Platform Racing 2 - Push Block.png Push Can be pushed around.
Platform Racing 2 - Happy Block.png Happy Boosts stats by 5.
Platform Racing 2 - Sad Block.png Sad Lowers stats by 5.
Platform Racing 2 - Safety Net Block.png Safety Net Teleports players to their last safe area.
Platform Racing 2 - Heart Block.png Heart Grants invincibility for 5 seconds and awards an extra heart in deathmatches.
Platform Racing 2 - Time Block.png Time Adds 10 seconds to the time limit.
Platform Racing 2 - Egg Minion.svg Egg Minion Attacks when approached.

Items

Like with blocks, every item from the first game returns along with the addition of 2 new ones.

Item Name Ability
Platform Racing 2 - Ice Wave.svg Ice Wave Briefly freezes nearby blocks and players.
Platform Racing - Jet Pack.svg Jet Pack Fly!
Platform Racing - Laser Gun.svg Laser Gun Fires long-ranged lasers.
Platform Racing - Lightning.svg Lightning Stuns other players on the map.
Platform Racing 2 - Mine.png Mine Places a mine that explodes when touched.
Platform Racing 2 - Speed Burst.svg Speed Burst Briefly makes the user faster.
Platform Racing 2 - Super Jump.svg Super Jump Portable super jump that's usable anywhere.
Platform Racing 2 - Sword.svg Sword Short-range sword that can slash others.
Platform Racing - Teleport.svg Teleport Teleports the player 4 blocks ahead.

Music

Main article: Songs

PR2's soundtrack is primarily comprised of popular songs on Newgrounds from various genres, with most being taken from Jiggmin's earlier game Musical Evenizer. Two remixes of the series theme Noodle Town were also composed by him that merge to form a single, longer rendition.

Confusion has surrounded the authorship of some tracks since PR2 came out. The first happened soon after release when Dwindled Bible was found to be stolen from .hack//Roots, causing its replacement with Instrumental #4.

Newgrounds users long suspected Miniature Fantasy of being stolen as well. Dreamscaper denied it, though in 2020 it was confirmed as Space Planet's song "Orbital Trance". It also came to light in 2009 that Andrew Parker stole Under Fire and the rest of his music.[4] Its origin remained unknown for a decade until it was discovered to be "Code" by Stefano Maccarelli.

Crying Soul's is more of a common misconception. While the credits correctly identify Pyroific, the in-game song list names the original track's composer B0UNC3.[5] This has since been corrected. Similarly Switchblade was performed by Detective Jabsco while most credit their saxophonist SKAzini.

Audio Song Length
Thanks – Jiggmin 2:00
Noodle Town 2 – Jiggmin 0:24
Noodle Town 3 – Jiggmin
Orbital Trance – Space Planet 2:35
Code – Stefano Maccarelli 0:52
Paradise on E – API 2:00
Crying Soul – Pyroific 3:36
My Vision – MrMaestro 4:57
Switchblade – Detective Jabsco 2:32
The Wires – Cheez-R-Us 0:49
Before Mydnite – F-777 2:34
Broked It – SWiTCH 1:12
Hello? – TMM43 0:27
Pyrokinesis – Sean Tucker 1:33
Flowerz 'n' Herbz – Brunzolaitis 2:45
Instrumental #4 – Reasoner 4:21
Prismatic – Lunanova 2:16
We are Loud – Dynamedion 2:02

Removed

These songs were in during the beta, but later removed at one point.[6]

Audio Song Length
Desert Rose – Metalcan 1:44
Just an Indie Piece of Mine – MJTTOMB 1:11
Dwindled Bible – Ali Project 2:22

Updates

See also: Platform Racing 2/Update History

See also: List of Motley Monday Episodes

Badges

Main article: Achievements

Kongregate badges are available for the game, with "New York Minute" being featured in the site's "Best of 2008" quest.[7][8]

Badge Name Requirements Points
Platform Racing 2 - Easy Badge.png Newbieland Conqueror Beat "Newbieland 2" in under 90 seconds. 5
Platform Racing 2 - Medium Badge.png New York Minute Finish "Its New York!" in under 75 seconds. 15
Platform Racing 2 - Hard Badge.png Mad Hatter Complete "Hat Factory" in under 7 minutes. 30
Platform Racing 2 - Bird Brain Badge.png Bird Brain Enter a match wearing the full Giant Bird set.

Reception

Platform Racing 2 received widespread acclaim for its addicting gameplay and innovative multiplayer for a Flash game, with specific praise directed at its level editor.[9][10][11][12] IGN dubbed it "a great lesson on how to mix old with new", writing:

"Platform Racing 2 is exactly what it sounds like - it's a game that uses platforming mechanics while timing your run on a given stage. Think of the old school Super Mario Bros., but throw in some crazy power ups like swords or jet packs, along with an experience system and you'll have an idea of what it has to offer. It brings some classic gameplay to the table and mixes it with some contemporary elements, creating something that is incredibly appealing.

... Along with all of this comes a fairly versatile level editor, allowing you to create your own stages that can be uploaded to the PR2 community, granting players hours upon hours of fun."[13]

Its multiplayer was lauded enough that Jiggmin later released a generic, open source version of its server called Blossom Server for other developers to use with their games.

It became Kongregate's most played game in December 2009, a title it held for over 2 years until Tyrant surpassed it in early 2012.[14][15] It still remains in their top 10 at over 33 million plays, being the oldest game on the list.[16] Their community voted it best game of the week and runner-up for best of the month when it was released, while the site's staff included it among their best games of 2008.[17][18][8] During their "Fatal Flaws in Flash Games" panel at Casual Connect 2009, Kongregrate revealed that 38% of people who played PR2 on the site converted to regular players (5x plays), while a further 27% of those converted to addicts (20x plays). It had the highest conversion rates among the games covered; with them noting its long legs.[19] Kongregate's community later voted it among the site's "Kongregate Classics" in 2015.[20][21]

Members of Newgrounds voted it one of the best submissions of the day and among the top 15 games of the month.[22][23]

Several publications have since named PR2 one of the best Flash games of all time.[24][25][26][27][28] TechCult specifically cited it as one of the best multiplayer Flash games when including it on their "150 best online flash games" list.[29] From the Intercom later named PR2 one of their "5 Flash Games You Should (Have) Play(ed)" following Flash's end of life in 2021.[30]

The game also attracted mainstream coverage in the BBC's 2011 study on internet filter bubbles, where they used the word "platform" to test the phenomenon on Google. While not mentioned in the prose, the game's shown in 2 photos as the top autocomplete suggestion (with PR3 in 3rd place) along with one of the top results.[31]

Awards

Platform Racing 2 won the "People's Choice" award at the 2009 Flash Gaming Summit.[32][33] The game was also runner-up for "Best Multiplayer Game" at the same event.[34]

Trivia

  • The servers are named after characters in various stories by Jiggmin.[35] The only known ones are from his cancelled game Destroyers of Planets, where Derron, Carina, Grayan and Fitz served as main characters.
  • The Ice Wave was chosen by fans via a Motley Monday poll over the Triple Bow by 10 votes.[36] The Triple Bow would've let them fire 3 arrows at once, with their distance depending on how long they charged their shot.[37]
Platform Racing 2 - Triple Bow.png
  • Similarly, the text tool beat block skins in a poll, which let players upload images onto blocks to give them custom designs.
Platform Racing 2 - Block Skins.png
  • This is Jiggmin's only game to have ads for BubbleBox.
  • Using "Forgot Password" on Jiggmin's account results in the error: "The password to Jiggmin's luggage is 12345.", a reference to Spaceballs.
  • The happy and sad blocks are the only ones drawn by someone other than Jiggmin, credited to Jacob K..
  • Several blocks had different appearances during the beta as seen in the video above, some reminiscent to their PR1 designs, including:
    • Ice was semi-transparent.
    • Vanish lacked its dot and swooshes.
    • Mine was directly ported from PR1.
    • Crumble wasn't a square.
    • Water was always transparent and lacked any depth outside the level editor.

Links

References

  1. "Platform Racing or Platform racing 2?". Kongregate. September 27, 2007.
  2. "No new levels for Platform Racing". Newgrounds. January 15, 2008.
  3. "Jiggmin.com" (February 20, 2008 archive)
  4. "Andrew-Parker a thief >:C!". Newgrounds. January 2009.
  5. "Myeah and new account.". Newgrounds. April 30, 2012.
  6. "Index of /games/PlatformRacing2/medium". Jiggmin.com (April 23, 2008 archive).
  7. "Platform Racing 2 badges". Kongregate. July 2008.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Best of 2008 Quest" - Kongregate
  9. "Free Games: Platform Racing 2". CZC.cz. June 15, 2008.
  10. "Platform Racing 2 - Review". E4.com. January 4, 2009.
  11. "Video game reviews: Platform Racing 2". scotdir.com.
  12. "Link Dump Friday №64". Jayisgames. May 30, 2008.
  13. "Eduardo's Take on Platform Racing 2". IGN. April 21, 2009.
  14. "Kongregate: Most Played Games" (December 9, 2009 archive)
  15. "Kongregate: Most Played Games" (March 21, 2012 archive)
  16. "Kongregate: Most Played Games"
  17. "Weekly and monthly contest winners for April/May". Kongregate. May 16, 2008.
  18. "May/June weekly/monthly contest winners". Kongregate. June 12, 2008.
  19. "Finding Fatal Flaws: Lessons from Kongregate - CC09". Adrian Cook. July 23, 2009.
  20. "[Vote] Kongregate Classic Games!". Kongregate. February 2015.
  21. "Kongregate TV: 'Kongregate Classics' March '15" - YouTube
  22. "Top entries from 05/13/2008!" - Newgrounds
  23. "Best of May 2008 and Big Apple Con!" - Newgrounds
  24. "Top 10 Best Flash Games". ANextWeb. August 14, 2013.
  25. "Top 10 Free Online Games You Can Play Right Now". Money Connexion. September 24, 2015.
  26. "Top 10 Free Online Games to Play When Bored". Virteract. December 26, 2016.
  27. "Unblocked Games 66 at School". Virteract. March 3, 2017.
  28. "The Best Games Kongregate Has". Game Yum. June 10, 2010.
  29. "The 150 Best Online Flash Games" TechCult. October 6, 2008.
  30. "5 Flash Games You Should (Have) Play(ed)". From the Intercom. January 24, 2021.
  31. "Click listeners test 'filter bubble'". BBC News. July 14, 2011.
  32. "The Flash Gaming Summit Re-Cap and Round-Up!". MochiLand. March 23, 2009.
  33. "Local game designer wins award". News and Tribune. April 4, 2009.
  34. "The Mochis Award Finalists:". Flashgamingsummit.com (March 8, 2009 archive).
  35. "PR2 Deep Escape" (10:20) - YouTube
  36. "Motley Monday 14 - Clash of the Titans" - YouTube
  37. "Motley Monday 13 - Spring Cleaning" (1:01) - YouTube
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