Race The Sun

Race The Sun Review

Solar power sure can pack a punch

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PlayStation 4 on

Race The Sun is Cross-Buy with PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita and also available for Wii U

ESRB Everyone rating

Truly unique racing experiences such as Race The Sun are becoming a rare sight in today's gaming market. Players will find it hard not to get hooked on the lightning fast gameplay that will put even the most hardcore gamers' reactions to the test.

Race The Sun is a racing game in which players control a hovering solar powered craft while trying to stay in the light as long as possible. There are no opponents and your only goal is to score big by surviving as long as you can while avoiding shade and crashing your vehicle. The sun is always setting and you will lose once it fully sets considering your vehicle is solar powered. To avoid this, you must stay in the light to go faster and use boosts in order to catch up to the persistently descending sun. However, the faster you go, the harder it is to avoid the many obstacles. It's game over once you crash (you will crash a lot), but that makes surviving long runs all the more rewarding.

Race The Sun screenshot 1
There are plenty of tricky hazards to navigate

Players of any skill level can learn how to play the game since the controls could not be easier. There are no accelerate or brake buttons. Instead, the vehicle is perpetually moving and players can only steer it left or right and push a button to use a jump power-up if they have one in stock. Players can collect items that will increase their score multiplier, give them a boost, or warp them to the end of the region. Items that can be stocked allow players to crash without penalty or jump. Your score multiplier goes down every time you collide with a wall so careful drivers will be rewarded. Everything is very responsive and it always feels fair every time you crash. The solid gameplay makes it hard to stop playing since you will think "I can do better next time!" after each attempt.

The graphics are simplistic with monochromatic colours and a lack of textures which allows players to easily spot obstacles, shadows, and collectables. The vehicle looks aerodynamic and futuristic and stands out of the environment quite well. The game renders very smoothly and the sense of speed is intense although no superficial blur effects are utilized. Music in Race The Sun is a mix of electronic beats with orchestral instrumentation and drum and bass. Each music track suits the simplistic and intense gameplay. Sound effects are very satisfying as you collect items, boost, jump, and collide with walls. The music quiets during certain events which amplifies the auditory intensity nicely. The vehicle itself makes no noise whatsoever as it soars through the game. This is an interesting choice and it ends up adding to the smoothness of the experience.

Race The Sun features a great sense of humour. When starting each run, players are greeted with a random message that at times will make them crack up. Also, when presented with unlockables, messages will state humorous observations such as the inherent futility in the concept of the game. It's great as the humour helps to breathe some levity into the otherwise tense game.

Race The Sun screenshot 2
Entering a portal will send you to the void world

The main game mode is basically a survival mode that is divided into different regions and cannot be finished. Each region has some distinct characteristics but they all generally look the same. Players will (literally) run into many obstacles which include rolling blocks, explosions, suspended pathways that reveal themselves as you drive over them, falling towers, and tunnels. Learning how to overcome each obstacle is key to survival. You will also discover portals that send you to the void world which is generally easier than the main game world. These stages are filled with asteroids, girders, and many score multiplier items. There is also no sun so you can play without the worry of sunset. Features such as this help to diversify the experience.

A feature that keeps the game fresh and will entice many players to come back is the fact that the entire game world changes every day. These new game worlds each have their own leaderboard that you can try to climb. This mechanic is an awesome way to add replayability and make gamers want to keep coming back for more.

Players can level up by completing challenges while playing the game. You can complete a selection of three challenges at a time with each being worth a different amount of points. Once you level up you unlock new features such as equipable ship enhancements, new collectables, more enhancement slots, badges for your vehicle's wings, and a couple of modes. These bonuses are rewarding as they help to extend the game's lifespan and provide some useful assistance. However, after players reach the maximum level (which may only take a few hours), they are unable to take on any more challenges and the game basically becomes solely about obtaining high scores. This is slightly disappointing as completing the challenges can be a lot of fun.

Race The Sun screenshot 3
Labyrinth mode is an interesting take on the game's formula

Race The Sun contains the main mode and a couple of unlockable bonus modes. Apocalypse mode is basically a much more difficult version of the original and is a great mode for skilled players to show off their skills. Labyrinth mode is played slightly different as it is slower but more difficult to navigate as players will need to plan ahead instead of relying solely on their reflexes. Although these modes are welcome additions to the game, players will probably want a bit more out of the experience as the gameplay only varies slightly.

Gamers of all skill levels will probably get some thrills out of Race The Sun's super fast and tight gameplay. With a new game world every day and some rewarding challenges, you can't go wrong with downloading this great indie racer.

  • + Lightning fast gameplay with tight controls will thoroughly test players' reactions
  • + The game world is different every day
  • + Rewarding level up system
  • - Replayability significantly decreases once you fully level up
  • - Only a few modes with little variation
8.0 out of 10
Gameplay video for Race The Sun 3:01

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