Taking control of a small winged craft, I’ve found myself barrel rolling and gliding across vast contrasting landscapes of light and dark, avoiding the darkest of areas with the goal of keeping the Sun high in the sky. As your ship is solar powered, it’s best to stay in the sunlight for as long as possible.
No sunlight, no power.
Racing through 25 intense regions, you’ll be collecting power-ups, winding around complex geometric shapes trying to stop your run in an instant. A direct hit against anything in the environment will end your run, while brushing against an object will slow you down significantly and your score multiplier will reset. At any given moment you will have three objectives to complete, ranging from jumping a set amount of times across multiple runs, reaching a set score in a single run or only gliding to the right. Completing the objectives will unlock essential abilities that you will need to progress further through the regions.
At the start of the game, your ship won’t be able to do anything other than fly parallel to the ground performing barrel rolls. As you level up your ship, the abilities you gain will greatly assist you in progressing through the regions. Soon you will be able to jump over obstacles, slowly gliding through the air and pick up various called items scattered throughout. Yellow items yield a small and temporary speed boost, raising the sun slightly higher in the sky. Blue items will give you points and increase your score multiplier, while green items will allow you to jump. The items will surely tempt you and it’s quite easy to find yourself trapped with nowhere to go.
With daily world resets and procedural generated regions, Race the Sun features an endless supply of regions to race through. Memorizing a region means nothing, and those able to quickly adapt to the shifting environment will survive. Did I also mention the game has a fully featured level editor?
The level editor is robust, allowing you to create your own level from scratch or modify any of the pre-existing levels. The unconventional cooperative multiplayer allows you to form a relay with four players by sharing your score over Facebook, Twitter or email. You can tag-team a run with another person taking turns or have three or four players work on getting the highest score possible. Considering everyone has at least a Facebook or Twitter account, I fail to see a single reason not to turn your game over screen into a relay race. Race the Sun has the addicting nature of, “just one more attempt,” and before you know it a couple of hours have passed.
With a minimalistic approach to the visuals, Race the Sun is quite pleasant to look at, even if the amount of colors are kept to a bare minimum. As you progress, the obstacles in the landscape become increasing more complex with a plethora of moving parts. Shapes will get increasingly taller, producing greater areas of shadows. For only $10, the endless replayability of Race the Sun is well worth the price. Excuse me; Race the Sun is calling my name.Note: Race the Sun was reviewed on PC. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.