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3DS  header logo

SpeedX 3D

For: 3DS   Also on: Android

High velocity sorbet

Product: SpeedX 3D | Developer: Gamelion Studios | Format: 3DS | Genre: Arcade, Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
SpeedX 3D 3DS, thumbnail 1
Gamelion's latest effort is a tunnel racer, playing like a pacifistic Tempest 2000 crossed with WipEout 2048. It's fast, places great strain on your reactions, and is unabashedly minimalist.

It's also a bit of a one-trick pony, and while that trick is impressive at first the game's utter lack of ambition and experimentation eventually brings it screeching to a halt.

Totally tubular

Hurtling down tunnels is a brilliant way to show off the autostereoscopic 3D capabilities of the 3DS. Crank the 3D slider up while playing SpeedX 3D and there's a superb sense of depth to the landscape around you as it whizzes past.

The sparse geometry is block-coloured in white, with angular channels forming paths down the track. Cubes and pyramids block these paths as you hurtle towards the horizon, and you have to avoid them with the Circle Pad or motion controls.

Smashing into one removes a shield from your stock (replenished by pads on the track), and if you lose all of your shields your run comes to an abrupt stop.

The course around you intermittently transforms from a high-speed tube into an undulating plain, or inverts completely so that you're racing on its exterior walls. Each environment provides its own challenges - tunnels provide plenty of blind turns to catch you unawares, for example.

Occasionally, a prompt pops up (annoyingly obscuring part of your view) to indicate a hazard approaching. These include cloud nebulae that damage your shield, gravity wells that force you to oversteer while turning, and blackouts that turn everything dark - removing the coloured stripe that usually gives you early warning of an approaching block.

Bursts of speed

The main mode takes you through 12 (slightly too lengthy) stages, then ramps up the speed for the next round. There are a few variations on the formula, such as the Zones mode, in which you have to collect fuel to keep playing, and an Endless mode for high scores, but these all feel very samey.

There's a strange calmness to the game when you're doing well, such as you might find in the eye of a storm. When you're in the zone, SpeedX 3D is an almost relaxing experience. The chilled-out electronic tune that accompanies proceedings enhances this effect, but since there's only one song included in the game it can start to grate after a while.

And extended play is really where the product suffers. In ten-minute chunks of gaming between more substantial titles, SpeedX 3D is a delightful palate-cleanser that focuses the mind. In lengthy sessions, the lack of variety becomes oppressive.

Keep it on your 3DS to dip into every now and again and you'll be very happy with your purchase, but if you're the type of person who likes to focus on one game at a time you'll be left underwhelmed.
SpeedX 3D
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 22 August 2012
Gamelion shows it can make a fast-paced pseudo racing game with SpeedX 3D, but a paucity of content and experimentation will leave hardcore gamers cold
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