Fly through different colored pylons and events in Racing Wings. The game reminds me of the Red Bull air challenges as stunt planes fly around courses with smoke trails as the crowd goes wild in the stands. As soon as you play through the very first track this will become apparent as even the countdown to start ends with “smoke on” and not “go.”
There are three main different colored areas you pass through — purple, red, and blue. Purple ones can be passed through without any restriction, but for the red and blue ones it gets trickier as the tutorial doesn’t do justice in explaining them properly. The menu before the first training level thankfully helps as it has a picture that explains it better: the red ones can only be passed through when you are flying vertically, but the blue ones require the plane to be horizontal. In order to do it, the plane must be turning to angle the plane for the red ones while the blue ones require you to be going perfectly straight and level. Once players establish this there isn’t much to the game besides following the set paths to the goal.
The levels get progressively harder as you go with ridiculous 360° and stop on a dime turns. If you incorrectly pass through a marker, you will get a three second penalty added to your time and your time determines the medal received at the end of the race — gold, silver or bronze. Throughout the levels there are rings to collect that resemble the rings from Sonic games, yet something is familiar about the sound effect when collected: it sounds exactly like the sound from the original Super Mario Bros. when you collect a coin.
Using the money gained from earning medals, you can increase the three main stats of the plane — velocity, handling, and acceleration. Each of these start off at 10% and are increased by 10% each time an upgrade is purchased. As you improve your plane the prices get exponentially higher, but the difference in the plane is quite noticeable. Flying a plane with 80% stats across the board is much more enjoyable than flying it at 10%.
Overall Racing Wings isn’t a bad racing game, although you are just racing against the clock without opponents of any kind to race against and the leaderboard only consists of you. I’ve never been a world record holder before, but seeing my name in the number 1 slot on all the tracks is an ego boost I needed. Would I like to have an online leaderboard? Of course, otherwise I don’t see any reason to beat your time on a track if you are the only one playing the game.
As an indie game for 80 msp, Racing Wings is a fun experience, but if you were looking for something to brag to your friends about with an online leaderboard; I would look elsewhere.Note: Racing Wings was reviewed on Xbox 360. A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.