Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

AiRace: Tunnel (DSiWare) Review

Review for AiRace: Tunnel on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

There are not many racing games on the DSiWare service so far, with there in fact only being the one until recently, in the form of Asphalt 4 from Gameloft. Now, though, Gameloft has also brought Ferrari GT and QubicGames has AiRace. The latter company, though, started on the DSi download channel with a slight twist on the genre when it launched its debut title AiRace: Tunnel. For a mere 200 Nintendo Points, gamers were treated to a fast-paced, futuristic racer that featured a strong reactionary puzzle theme. Read on to find out more…

What would otherwise look like a simple technical demonstration of a developer's gameplay and graphics engine, AiRace: Tunnel is actually perfectly suited to the Nintendo DSi download service. Players take control of a futuristic vehicle that starts slowly flying through a tunnel. Using either the touch-screen or face buttons, the craft can be moved around and tilted either left or right. The correct position must be assumed in order to guide the ship through tight spaces and gaps created by both static and moving obstacles ahead, whilst an unfortunately repetitive piece of music loops in the background.

The game displays a small percentage notification to highlight exactly how far through a stage you have progress, with the speed increasing the further you get and the complexity of the incoming barriers increasing more and more to the point where every ounce of concentration is required to ensure no crashes occur. In a way, it almost becomes like a 'bullet hell' shooter, in that close control and all your attention must be focused on the movements of the spacecraft, with the slightest of incorrect movement or tilt causing a complete disaster and the end of your near-perfect run.

Screenshot for AiRace: Tunnel on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Anyone with a poor constitution and/or shaky hands should give this a miss, since after several sessions of attempting to manoeuvre the ship safely passed the hazards and through the twisting and turning tunnels, AiRace: Tunnel can play havoc with your nerves, testing your reflexes and resolve to maximum! There may only be a few stages on offer, but for such a low price and given how even the easiest stage is actually quite tough for new starters, it is perfect for coming back to every once in a while for just one…more…go… In essence this may only by a test project from QubicGames, yet in reality it has turned out to be a highly engaging little product that is so moderately priced that DSi owners looking for something a little different, or a warm-up for the full-fledged racer AiRace that only launched in the past few weeks, should definitely check out.

Screenshot for AiRace: Tunnel on DSiWare - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Simple button or touch-screen controls for general movement and ease of tilting the spacecraft mean that guiding your vehicle down the various tunnels is perfectly smooth.

Graphics

Super fast speeds and great 3D effects that show what can be achieved successfully on the DSiWare service.

Sound

A highly repetitive tune that loops throughout, threatening to spoil the experience.

Value

For a mere 200 Nintendo Points, AiRace: Tunnel is more than you could ask for, with a handful of great tracks filled to the brim with tough challenges.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

With AiRace: Tunnel, QubicGames has successfully transferred what looks to be a test project into a thoroughly enjoyable twist on the standard futuristic racing genre, deftly mixing in a puzzle slant and adding in enough challenge to easily warrant to 200 Nintendo Points asking price.

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31.05.2010

3

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Developer

Qubic

Publisher

QubicGames

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date TBA   

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Too bad for the sound part, especially considering that if they couldn't compose a decent soundtrack, they could have saved that data space to let the player listen to its own AAC encoded tracks that sit on the SD card.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

That would indeed be a far better idea. Mike's got my completed AiRace review as well now, and when you read it you'll see how much I also disliked the soundtrack in that...to the point where it was starting to put me off the game itself.

However, I really think the team have a great racing engine that can be tweaked for more games in the future. I look forward to what they come up with next!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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