In the golden days of the video game arcade, a typical game lasted maybe 4-5 minutes. If you were particularly good at it (had the patterns memorized, for example), perhaps a bit longer. But at some point, the game was going to beat you. As soon as you got the “game over,” you’d either pop in another token or play something else. It was this short-term gratification that inspired Flippfly to craft a fun adventure in inevitability, Race the Sun.
Taking control of your solar-powered flying machine, you begin each game with only one certainty – the sun will set and you will crash, ending that run. How long it takes to reach that point is totally up to you and your reflexes. Fortunately, it’s a challenge you’ll enjoy taking over and over again.
What I liked
Easy to learn, tough to master – You’ll learn exactly how to play on your very first session. Standard flight controls help you guide your bird-shaped craft around obstacles while staying out of shadows that will slow you down. Pick up glowing pyramids to boost your multiplier and raise your score. Speed boosts will push the sun higher into the sky, giving you more time. Jumps will get you over obstacles and possibly into new areas. With that out of the way, you can focus on getting as far as you can before your impending demise.
Always new – Remember earlier when I talked about memorizing patterns? Forget that. The game world in Race the Sun resets every 24 hours. So each day you’re faced with a new map to fly through. While you will see some similar features from time to time, that’s about as repetitive as it gets. Fresh and new means every day you pick up the controller, it’s a new game.
Simple, yet beautiful – Graphically, Race the Sun is somewhat monochromatic; most of the elements are some shade of gray. But that said, the variety of the landscape is still rather easy on the eyes. Power-ups are colored, making them easier to spot and target. The combination works very well. Play the endless mode to see the world at night and simply fly without the pressure, even if you still can collide with obstacles.
Challenges aplenty – Players are given challenges to complete, such as reaching a certain score or completing a zone without a scratch. Completing them helps level up your player, granting you new bonuses to help your hopeless cause. Some are permanent (such as a higher starting multiplier), while others can be loaded onto your craft and switched out as desired. Occasionally, new craft and new modes will be opened as well, giving you more ways to play. Unfortunately, none of the new items will keep the sun completely in the sky or anything like that.
What I didn’t like
Musically mundane – I gotta be honest here. I like the music in the game, but I do wish there was more of it. You’ll use the same musical track each session in each game mode, and it’s quite appropriate to the game mode you’re in at the time. For example, the primary mode’s music is energetic and fast-paced, while the endless mode brings users a more zen experience. If Flippfly could produce more musical options, it would be a huge bonus.
This game is completely in my wheelhouse, as the saying goes. It’s great if you have a few minutes to wait for something (such as a game update finishing up), but it’s equally superb at getting you to play it just one more time. Therefore, you won’t be returning to your planned activity until you start yet another race you know without a doubt you will lose … and you’re quite okay with that. Race the Sun is a fantastic game at a bargain price that deserves a portion of your Xbox One’s hard drive space.
Race the Sun was developed and published by Flippfly. It was released on April 20, 2017, for $9.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.