Race The Sun review for PS Vita, PS4, PS3

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PS3, PC
Publisher: Flippfly
Developer: Flippfly
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Leaderboards

Some ideas are so simple and obvious, it’s hard to believe that no one has had them before. Take, for instance, Race The Sun. It’s essentially an endless runner with a futuristic sheen, and that’s it. Not many bells or whistles; basically, imagine Rayman’s Jungle Run or Temple Run with an F-Zero makeover, and you have the essence of the game. It’s the kind of thing that sounds like it should have already been done to death.

As far as I know, though, it’s hasn’t been. Or, at the very least, it hasn’t been done to death on PlayStation platforms, which is where I do the bulk of my gaming. And now that it is here, I’m wondering where it’s been all my life.

Race the Sun 1

Now, before I get too hyperbolic about Race The Sun, I’ll admit that the game isn’t essential by any means. It is, after all, an endless runner, and no amount of sleek spaceships or geometric cityscapes will change that. When you get down to it, it’s still just a game to whip out when you have a couple of minutes to kill.

But you know what? For those few minutes at a time, it’s pretty close to perfect. The gameplay is fast and simple, the sort of thing that’s really easy to pick up, but incredibly hard to master. You just swerve from side to side, dodging objects that come at an increasingly fast and frantic pace, trying to keep your solar-powered battery charged by the ever-setting sun. There are power-ups to be acquired and achievements to, er, achieve, but really, those are secondary to the game’s core mechanic of getting as far as you possibly can until you slam into a wall and explode. (And, of course, Race The Sun does also have those achievements and power-ups, along with high score leaderboards, so if replayability is your big concern, it shouldn’t be.)

Race the Sun 2

Obviously, it’s not the most complex game. But quite frankly, it doesn’t need to be. Race The Sun is — and only wants to be — a simple, addictive game for you to pick up and play, and it’s not hard to imagine that anyone who does pick it up will just end up playing and playing and playing it.

Grade: A-