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F-Zero 99 revives Nintendo’s most neglected series as a free battle royale

Nintendo announced that the F-Zero racing game franchise is returning as a battle royale game called F-Zero 99, during the September 2023 Nintendo Direct.  The game releases today, September 14, and will be available for free to active Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

F-ZERO 99 - Nintendo Switch Online - Nintendo Direct 9.14.2023

In the freebie, 99 players can race against each other in a reimagined version of the original NES game. Players have a power meter that they must keep track of and prevent from depleting. The meter decreases every time you bump or crash into another player on the course. Once the power meter is drained, the player is knocked out of the race entirely.

Players are also able to take risks and sacrifice a bit of their power meter to gain a temporary speed boost in order to reach the front of the pack and hopefully get closer to first place.

Cars drive past each other in F-Zero 99.

Whenever players bump into each other, little yellow orbs called Super Sparks appear on the course. Collecting enough of them unlocks a special path called the Skyway. This creates a magical road above every other competitor and lets you drive safely without worrying about bumping into anyone else. This gives you the advantage of securing a higher spot during the race.

F-Zero 99 also supports the SNES controller for Nintendo Switch that’s available for Nintendo Switch Online members.

Unfortunately, the F-Zero franchise hasn’t had a proper entry since 2004’s F-Zero Climax for the Game Boy Advance. That game was also a Japan-exclusive release. This isn’t the only game that has received the battle royale treatment. Nintendo also released Tetris 99 back in 2019.

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George Yang
George Yang is a freelance games writer for Digital Trends. He has written for places such as IGN, GameSpot, The Washington…
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