Race the Sun (PC) Review

By Athanasios 09.06.2015

Review for Race the Sun on PC

One of the most common type of games that can be played in touch-screen devices are the so-called endless runners, which tend to have an extremely simple, yet strangely addictive concept: just run forward, avoid obstacles, gather power-ups, and aim for the highest score possible, which, since there is no ending, can know no limit. Despite being even more simple, though, Race the Sun might actually be one of the best of its kind. It's fun, addictive, very challenging, and it's also so ridiculously fast that the rest of the competition can safely be named endless crawlers.

This high-tech craft is 100% solar-powered and insanely fast, but it also blows up into smithereens the moment the sun hides behind the horizon, therefore, the only way for it to stay intact is to - what else? - chase the sun. The need to reach this distant bright star is so hypnotising that it manages to bring gamers back to that wonderful part of their childhood, where it was very exciting to imagine what was beyond the borders of Pac-Man, what happens after the flagpole in Super Mario Bros., and if it was possible to traverse the mountains that were in Doom's background. One reason for this is the minimalist, almost monochromatic visuals, and the simple geometrical solids that decorate this bizarre, and almost trippy world… but, of course, the sun can never be reached.

Being an endless runner, this doesn't include a finishing line, which means that the player just has to postpone the inevitable coming of the sunset as long as possible. However, nine out of ten tries will end, not at sundown, but with the spacecraft forming a nice cloud of white debris after hitting one of the gazillion obstacles that are scattered around the place, and although things start pretty easy, with only a couple of pyramids, cones, and boxes here and there, the knife gets increasingly twisted with every region completed, with rolling boulders, blinding explosions, and falling pillars being just a sample of the hazards that lie ahead - not to mention that all these throw shadows that discharge this environmentally friendly vehicle.

It's nothing sort of great that Flippfly's duo were very careful with the most important aspect of a title such as this - the controls. Not only are they flawless, but they are so no matter the device used - although analogues tend to feel a bit more natural. Even better, Brass Monkey is supported, so any touch-screen mobile/tablet can be used as a plug-in controller. All this makes this, undoubtedly, very challenging joyride a lot better, since it lets players do all kinds of crazy, last-second manoeuvres, in order to avoid destruction, or so that they can enter some dangerous areas, which would be otherwise avoided if they didn't have Tris inside, which are the typical score multipliers. After all, this is nothing more than a typical hunt for points.

Screenshot for Race the Sun on PC

As enjoyable as this is, though, for some people videogames are not about high scores and leaderboard rankings, but the feeling of progression that they can give, even if that is just an illusion like in most games of its kind. In order to achieve that, most of them had tons of missions that weren't exactly innovative or challenging, but managed to create some incentive, nonetheless. Race the Sun's answer to that is a similar level-up system that rewards players with various unlockables, like in-game power-ups, decals for the spacecraft, or separate games modes, but, unfortunately, and even though some of the missions that must be completed in order to level-up are simply insane, this won't last long - in fact, for those skilled enough this will be a matter of a few hours.

Aside from the heavy emphasis in high scores, many will be put off by the overall level of difficulty, because, although far from being a title for masochists, this is so hard that many will find lasting for more than five minutes impossible. Those who love challenge, though, will be glad to know that no matter how good they will become, they can always find more of it up ahead - not to mention that the world changes each day, making path memorisation impossible. Those who can't get enough can try their luck in Apocalypse, a mode where lasting for more than a minute - or 10 seconds - is quite the feat, or Labyrinth mode, which severely decreases the speed, but requires quick decision-making skills in order to avoid various kinds of traps.

This can, without a single doubt, get a bit boring after a while, not only due to the arcade-like simplicity, but also because all regions tend to recycle only a bunch of patterns. Fortunately, the developer was wise enough to add a level editor, something that is always a great thing for the replay value of any title. To sum up: how can this compete with games like Subway Surfers, Temple Run, or Jetpack Joyride, which are all filled with missions and unlockables? The answer is by being far more entertaining, challenging, and adrenaline-pumping than all of these combined, even without the usual amount of bells and whistles.

Screenshot for Race the Sun on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Race the Sun offers the chance to drive a solar-powered craft at breakneck speeds, trying to reach a star that looks so tantalisingly close, although it's always out of reach. It's tough, it's fun, it has excellent controls, and, finally, it has that great "one more try" magic. However, many will be disappointed from the fact that there aren't many things to do besides trying to get the highest possible score, which is the main reason why it has lost the golden medal. Those who don't mind its simplicity, though, will certainly enjoy what is probably the best independently developed endless runner for the PC so far.

Developer

Flippfly

Publisher

Flippfly

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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