Race the Sun PS4 Review
Publisher: Flippfly Developer: Flippfly Genre: Endless Runner Players: 1 Age Rating: 3+
Other console/handheld formats: PS3, Vita
Race the Sun is a neat and sleekly designed little gem, and like most games with a basic premise, is certainly addictive.
You manoeuvre a small aircraft through a vast, grey-scale desert, known as ‘regions’, swerving to avoid obstacles such as various shaped blocks, mountains and boulders, amongst other things. Hit an obstacle and, of course, it’s game over. The aim of the game is in its name – to race the sun. The craft you pilot is solar-powered and so, collecting various jump and boost pick-ups, you have to keep the sun as high up in the sky as possible and stay out of any lingering shadows, which will cause your energy to deplete, blowing up the craft and also ending the game.
As you traverse the openness of the region, you collect blue Tris, circular markers that, when collected, increases your multiplier to maximise your score. The score is constantly increasing as you drift along. However, if you knock into an obstacle, this will reduce the level of your multiplier, hence slowing down your score, so be careful! Complete a region without any collisions and you will be rewarded with extra bonus points.
At the end of the region you enter an area that is barren except for a single white bird, which swoops onto the screen to drop more blue Tris, and a much-needed pick-up as you enter the following region.
Besides the pick-ups and Tris, there are various other objects located around the world, such as a portal that will teleport you to the end of the level. This is perfect for those casual players who just want to reach as far as possible. However, the portal could be detrimental to those seeking a high score; what is meant to be helpful could turn out to be quite a hindrance for those high score chasers – if you hit a portal, you lose out on much wanted points, as you miss out on collecting those valuable Tris, and so the portal becomes yet another obstacle to avoid.
The controls and game design are very simple, with the emphasis being placed on gameplay rather than graphics, though that isn’t to say the game doesn’t look nice. As mentioned earlier, the design is very sleek and cool looking, with a steely grey environment contrasted by the other colours found in the game, such as that from the pick-ups you collect and the setting of the sun. The steering is tricky to learn at first, though it soon becomes easy to glide the craft around the regions, and you can even perform a barrel roll. The music is catchy, and has a very smooth beat, which becomes more upbeat as the tension rises during the more difficult areas. However, the music can become quite monotonous, and the game would have benefited from a more varied soundtrack.
A gimmick of the game is that the levels change every 24 hours, which offers much more replayability and reduces any repetitiveness the levels could bring, and also prolongs the longevity of the game. There are many challenges to achieve, and upon completing a challenge, you will level up and be rewarded with perks and decals for your craft. Choosing different attachments for your craft will help you to navigate through the tough regional sections.
Overall, the game gets you involved in its world very quickly with its simplicity, and it is addictive fun, trying to out perform a previous score. It is much more enjoyable playing with friends, taking it in turns to outdo each others’ scores. The game could be quite linear for those less experienced players, though for the more advanced players, it will be fun taking advantage of the environment and the various routes. This is a game that can be played little and often or for hours at a time, and for such a basic game, it has much to offer.