Race the Sun - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

22 October 2014

Also on:

PS4 PS3 PS Vita

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
7.6

Summary:

In Race the Sun, you are a solar-powered craft. The sun is your death timer. Hurtle towards the sunset at breakneck speed in a futile race against time. Race the Sun is inspired by arcade games of the past with a focus on high scores, short game sessions, and a sense of pure fun mingled with a nerve-wracking tension. The rules are simple: don't crash, stay in the light, and don't slow down. This is a cross-save, cross-buy title.

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Posted:
2015-08-14

Den_Merry

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PS4

7.6

Race the Sun was developed by the team at Flippfly for release on the PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PC, and finally iOS systems. Developed as a futuristic flight sim not unlike Star Fox, Race the Sun features beautifully minimalistic graphics, an intense soundtrack, and a seemingly never ending selection of thrilling levels. Designed to be enjoyed in short bursts, we figured that Race the Sun would be the perfect add on to our PS4 library. The stark difference between the title and other action tilts in our library was pretty stunning and almost worth the minimal price of admission at that. So we picked up a copy, slid into our solar powered jet, and got hurtling toward the sun.

Endless Runner games by nature seem predetermined to fail their players after a few hours. Now we aren’t saying that the genre itself is fatally flawed, just not particularly evocative when compared to other more enduring games that are available out there. Flippfly is an unknown developer to us and that might have pushed us away from picking up Race the Sun if only it weren’t for the gorgeous scaled down graphics in the trailer. The fast paced action, fractal designs, and bold level choices made us think that this was something a little more special, something that stood outside of the genre like Samurai Jack and the term 'cartoons'.

The core gameplay element in Race the Sun is relatively simple. You are flying a solar powered aircraft and you must race through twisting, turning, violent landscapes in order to stay in the sunlight. You need to get as far as possible in order to rack up your score. While the objective itself isn’t remotely difficult to understand, it is the sheer amount of obstacles that get in your way which will become a problem. From falling towers, falling square blocks, and bizarre alien shapes your path will be impeded. When you aren’t worried about obstacles you must also worry about shadows. Stay in the shadows for too long and you’ll see that your battery rapidly begins to deplete, causing your ship to become unsteady and eventually crash unless you make it back into the sunlight.

Endless Runner games work because gamers want to be the best and giving them an easy to understand gameplay mechanic and a running score line will bring that competition out of them. In many twin stick shooters the way that you succeed is by aiming for power ups and stringing them together in the form of a continuous combo. The same holds true for Race the Sun. in order to get the highest score possible before failing you must focus on nabbing all of the multiplier pick-ups that will float in and out of your screen in the blink of an eye. Collect blue pyramid shaped items called Tris to boost your score. Once you collect enough Tris you will see that your multiplier score has changed, allowing you to rake in even more points as you hurtle through the post-apocalyptic looking landscape.

There are more boosts to pay attention to than just the blue multiplier changer. Grabbing a yellow triangle will increase your speed while also pushing the sun back up on the horizon, giving you more time before the inevitable sunset that will send you crashing into the floor. Green boost objects will give you lift so that you can sort of jump glide over obstacles while not worrying about crashing. Purple boosts act as extra lives and essentially bookmark a spot in your run for you so that if you crash you can start from there with your score intact. The purple checkmark boost are, perhaps, the most important boosts in the entire game as they are the easiest way to stretch out huge runs.

Boosts and high scores aren’t the only thing that you’ll be paying attention to in this sleek Endless Runner. In Race the Sun you will also be paying attention to challenges that pop up all of the time. You’ll get to have three challenges present at a time and they’ll range in the form of task they offer you. Some will be simple: travel a certain distance. Another challenge may implore you to get three perfect regional runs in a row. As you complete these challenges you will begin to level up with the level cap being at 25. As you level up and push further into the game you’ll unlock new attachment upgrades for your shape. You’ll find useful additions like the magnet which sucks Tris in from a distance. Other practical upgrades will change how your ship handles: making you turn faster, jump higher, or carry more boosts. Getting a fully pumped up ship is the go to way to get ahead in Race the Sun and get a beefy score to be proud of.

Every level that you play in is split into separate regions with each region getting progressively more difficult. As you play these regions will give you harder and harder challenges to deal with. This is the core of the primary mode but it isn’t the only way that gamers will enjoy Race the Sun. There are two other modes worth mentioning within the game.

The first big mode addition is the Apocalypse mode. In this game style everything is almost impossibly difficult right at the beginning. The level will load with insane ramps, intense speeds, and huge obstacles. This is basically the hardcore mode in the game where runs will only last a matter of seconds. The third mode is Labyrinth Mode. In Labyrinth you are no longer racing the sun and instead trying to navigate around a huge and endless maze. The only way to play this final mode is to unlock it by reaching level 25.

Perhaps most interesting about the game is that all of the levels in the title are regenerated every 24 hours, creating a new experience for you every time you boot the title up. On the whole this is a sleek experience with addicting gameplay that is well worth a couple of 20 minute sessions a day.

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Jun 14, 2015
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Flippfly

Release Date:

22/10/2014

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