Race the Sun is an endless runner in which you pilot a solar powered craft forever chasing the Sun to keep your craft going. Featuring power-ups daily map updates and leaderboards, should you be getting up at the crack of dawn to play? Read our review below…
Flippfly’s warmly received endless runner, Race the Sun, has finally made it to Xbox One. Race the Sun puts players in control of a small, solar powered ship, and sets them on a course to make it through as many regions as possible without crashing or running out of solar power. The unnamed world of Race the Sun features a pleasing, albeit very minimalist, aesthetic that leans heavily on creating obstacles from repeating geometric shapes. In some instances the world is simply filled with cubes, but progressing through the regions results in the obstacles becoming more complicated like a smattering of windmills throughout the landscape or erratic bombs crashing around the player’s ship. As the player’s ship is solar powered, the world’s obstacles can also work against you with their shadows. Flying into shadows casts by mountains, towers, and even cloud cover results in the ship slowing down dramatically, allowing the obstacles to negatively affect your ship even if you’re managing to avoid crashing into them violently.
Race the Sun’s primary goal is for players to make it as through as many regions as possible while picking up blue point multiplier icons referred to as “tris” so that they can rack up a score that will be the envy of their friends on the game’s leaderboards. Players have a surprising amount of freedom in determining the paths that they travel, despite the game’s “always moving forward” style, allowing for a fair amount of exploration of each region during runs. While it may seem obvious to always seek out the path with the most tris for higher point totals, this can come back to bite the player if they fail to seek out additional power ups. Some of the extra abilities players can find in the world include pushing back time, giving the player extra daylight to power their solar ship and hopefully make it into further regions, as well as the emergency portals that deploy themselves upon impact, preventing the player from dying a miserable fiery death and getting a second chance instead.
One thing to be certain with Race the Sun, its that you will die. Frequently. Unexpectedly, And traumatically. Yet somehow despite this the game play is so easy to pick up and plays so smoothly that players will be sucked in for “Just one more run!” and then find that they’ve managed to lose 5 hours of their day. Race the Sun’s controls are simple, intuitive, and very responsive, meaning that when players do crash tragically they can rest assured it was because they just didn’t see themselves hurtling full speed into that wind mill. Before you think that Race the Sun would wear out its welcome with its one track, and that players would quickly become bored running the same map repeatedly – you can rest easily in the fact that Race the Sun actually dynamically updates every 24 hours with small changes to the game’s map. Unfortunately, there’s no such daily update to the game’s one song that plays repeatedly. The song that plays during your run is nice enough, but after a couple of runs with the same song it can become monotonous. Race the Sun is certainly improved by making use of Xbox One’s background music capabilities, as playing along with your own soundtrack dramatically improves the experience.