Taking a quick look at an endless runner from a while back.
A Paladin’s Steam Review: Race the Sun. A Bit Slow Paced for A Fast Endless Runner.
- Genre: Minimalist Endless Racer
- Developed & Published by: Flippfly LLC
- Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS.
- Business Model: Cheaper Base Game + Single Optional DLC
- Copy Purchased by Myself
Overall Gameplay Thoughts
As it says on the store page, Race the Sun has you driving a solar craft across a vast, endless space filled with obstacles galore. Your only timer is a constantly setting sun that you must race towards. If the sun sets or you get caught in a long shadow for too long, the craft will run out of power and the race is over. Each world is separated by regions that get progressively harder as more objects and obstacles are thrown into your path. Within certain districts are portals to optional levels to change the pace up. Workshop support allows you to try out community created worlds though I found these got a little too difficult for my taste. There’s also a leveling system where you need to complete goals (given to you in a set of three) every time you race. Some are pretty generic with completing a certain amount of score or reaching a certain district while others can be overly difficult (do a barrel roll 20 times in a single try, yeah, still can’t accomplish that task). Additionally, your solar craft can be configured with different attachments and badges. These are unlocked as you level up and seem to be quality of life changes to your craft, not real game changers.
It’s a simplistic game where all you do is steer around objects and hit as many power ups (speed boosters and jump boosters are the most common) as you can. The high speed action takes some skill and split second decision making in order to be successful. Even then, you can easily get plastered against a wall for not reacting fast enough and that can get old fast. If there was a main complaint I’d have, it’s that unlocks take way too long to get. Even after a couple of hours, I still haven’t gotten a single badge and there’s still more than half of the attachments left to unlock. There’s a constant sense of frustration at not getting much reward for making even the slightest amount of progress. I often got tired of doing the first region over and over again because I crashed on a simple rock at the beginning of the second region. I feel like there could be a better way of handling it but I have yet to see an endless runner do anything about it. Race the Sun does have procedurally generated levels but the structure is largely the same and all that really changes is what objects are in each district. RtS used to have daily challenges but they seem to have been patched out.
PC Settings and Sunrise DLC
A fairly decent set of options can be found in Race the Sun. There’s a large amount of resolutions to choose from with fullscreen on/off. A quality slider that vaguely goes from fantastic to fastest. Vsync can be enabled/disabled. There’s two audio sliders for effects and music. Both a keyboard and a controller can be used and both work equally well. The keys can be rebound with optional secondaries. The Linux version seems to work quite well too. Anti-aliasing seems tied into the quality slider. I never had any performance problems or crashing. Video and audio work well together in this game too.
The Sunrise DLC is for an optional world where there’s no leaderboards, setting sun or optional objectives. It’s ok but I kind of feel like its superfluous with multiple Workshop levels having the same rules. It at least looks quite pretty but I don’t think $2 is worth pretty.
Race the Sun has a good visual/audio design and it’s one of the few endless runners I’ve run into that doesn’t try to waste your time with some nonsense business model. It’s also a decently skillful runner too and has a good sense of speed, not dependent upon gimmicky controls or QTEs to slow you down. However, I find that the pacing is a little too long between unlocks. They can take far too long and too many runs to obtain and what you end up getting doesn’t really change the game for the next hundred races. So, it can be a little too boring. If you’re ok with a repetitive endless run that isn’t looking to suck the money out of your wallet, Race the Sun is something to consider. Just don’t expect too much excitement and a lot of re-racing the first region.
Thanks for reading!