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Air Race Speed

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad


Product: Air Race Speed | Publisher: Qubic Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Arcade, Racing | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Air Race Speed iPhone, thumbnail 1
Making video games is as precarious as playing Kerplunk. Mess up one small aspect of a game and it can all fall apart. It's a fact that's especially obvious in the case of Air Race Speed.

This slick looking, wonderful sounding, fast-paced futuristic racer has great course and ship design, an amazing sense of speed, and plenty of content.

But its controls, though simple, are utterly inadequate, ensuring most of the game's content is locked behind a wall of frustration and disappointment.

Feeling the need

It really is a shame too, because the rest of the game is very well constructed.

Air Race Speed is set in a future where, for some reason, spaceships race around dangerous facilities at breakneck speeds. Whatever the reason might be, it makes for some unique spaces to explore.

You'll brush your craft's wings up against the walls of an extremely tight tube corridor one moment, fly around a gigantic turbine shaft the next, and then dodge past the robotics of a construction line.

There are even some more natural space to explore along the way.

It's just you against the environment in Air Race Speed. You need to boost around as much of the course as possible to turn in the fastest times and rack up a three star rating.

Though there's just the one ship to render, the environments - which are filled with large pieces of geometry and moving parts - are intricately detailed.

Air Race Speed's engine handles it all effortlessly, producing a handsome game with a smooth frame-rate and short load times.

The marble comes crashing down

If only the controls were as elegant and well thought out as the game around them.

Tilt and touch options are available, and neither is any good. The tilt controls respond quickly enough, but there's a disconnect between the player and the inputs.

You're flying in 3D space, and doing so with tilt is taxing for the brain at the best of times. It's even more challenging when you're hurtling through narrow corridors. Hesitating for a second will usually see you collide with something.

The touch controls are worse though. Much, much worse.

They're way too sensitive for a start, with only the smallest of thumb movements needed to adjust your ship's trajectory by tens of degrees.

I found I was constantly jerking my ship from side to side or up and down, rather than moving smoothly. And I repeatedly collided with the various obstacles that litter each track.

If an observer were watching my time trial in this far future, they'd think me completely smashed on space booze, and wonder why my pilot's licence hadn't been vaporised by space traffic wardens.

This control scheme might work if all of Air Race Speed's courses were sharp turns, but the reality is that the game calls for graceful curves around long meandering corners.

The futuristic racing genre is supposed to give you an incredible sense of speed, while still providing you the tools to overcome that speed.

In Air Race Speed you're constantly fighting against the game's controls, not working with them, and it sucks all the fun right out of it.
Air Race Speed
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 8 October 2014
A potentially fantastic futuristic racer that completely fails to get the controls right, and as a result becomes a real challenge to enjoy
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