Last time we played Race The Sun, we came away impressed and couldn’t wait for it to go out of beta for the official review. This clearly is one of those few indie games we have closely followed this year. There isn’t too much of a difference from the beta version, and that’s not exactly a bad thing.
2-man developer Flippfly has done a superb job. Funded partially on Kickstarter, Race The Sun was developed using the Unity engine and was released earlier this month on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Enter Race the Sun for Mac
As you probably already guessed by now, you have to race the Sun, and the Sun gives no quarters, which makes racing against it inconvenient. This is especially true when the path ahead is crammed with obstacles and objects that are hell-bent on killing you. Sounds like a tough game but ultimately this stern challenge is what makes Race The Sun so addicting.
You control a solar-powered craft which needs sunlight to operate, hence why racing against the setting sun is tricky. It’s a simple game to play. Arrow keys to control the craft and spacebar to use powerups. But the game is far from easy. You play a new map every day, the same map played by all users worldwide. Each map is divided into numerous regions, and each region is more challenging than the last. It’s a great touch by Flippfly to do this. It means that every time you play, the first two regions warm you up so when you reach the properly difficult regions that lie ahead, you’re more or less ready to face them.
The game ends when you either crash into an obstacle or when the sun sets. When you complete a few tasks, you level up and gain abilities. Configuring your ship’s abilities to complete certain tasks is also possible. However, the customization is only limited to that, which is slightly disappointing.
Race The Sun has a unique multiplayer mode. It has a co-op asynchronous multiplayer which allows other players over the internet to pick up your game where you either ran out of sunlight or crashed. You can share your game link on Facebook or Twitter so your friends can continue right from where you left off. Although it isn’t as exciting as competitive multiplayer, which Race The Sun lacks, it’s still a lot of fun, and also gets your friends involved in the fun.
In the preview, I compared the sensation of playing Race The Sun to driving a Formula 1 car in the streets of Monaco. Now, with the ever-changing map and the dynamic regions, it’s like driving through the streets of Monaco in a Formula 1 car on acid. It’s ridiculously exciting and addicting.
Another awesome feature is Player Worlds. Race The Sun comes bundled with the Simplex World Creator, which allows you to create your own map with different camera angles. Once you make your map, you can also share it, which means other players can play on it and you on theirs. It’s a neat little feature that lets players exploit the full potential of the game.
Race The Sun is simply a very visually appealing game to play. It’s superb sci-fi themed graphics are simple yet very well executed. Even the colors are well chosen. It’s a nice place to play in.
The attention to detail is also commendable. The slight bobbing of the craft as it flies on, the dynamic lens flare, reflections, and shadows are some of the highlights. The only thing missing is the option to choose views. The chase view is very nice, but wouldn’t it be much more exciting if there was a cockpit view? You can get a cockpit view by modifying settings on the Simplex World Creator, but that view is only playable on the custom world, not the original game map.
Putting aside these small niggles and wants, Flippfly has done a great job.
Race The Sun is a small indie game and will have no problems whatsoever, even when running on older Macs. I saw absolutely no frame skips or lags during my game time.
My system specs:
- OS: OS X 10.8.4
- Processor: 2.9 GHz Intel
- RAM: 8GB
- Graphics: 512MB
Flipply has produced a superb indie game in Race The Sun, which deserves every bit of the $20K funding it got on Kickstarter and more. The superb gameplay guarantees insane amounts of fun. With Flipply committed to constant updates, expect to see the game evolve into something even better over time.