Ever wanted to race a few robots across a futuristic sci-fi landscape? Robot Race is a 3D racing game that uses robots instead of cars or ships. Designed by the animators and designers who worked console titles at Oddworld, EA and Heavy Iron/THQ, Robot Race has distinct steampunk and Japanese toys from the 1940s influence and through six unique tracks the game pays homage to "Star Trek," "Logan's Run," "Silent Running".
The gameplay in Robot Race is certainly a unique one in racing genre. Amazingly you can actually "feel" that you're controlling a robot instead of a car or a ship. The character design and movement animation are very well done, and thanks to the responsive control, the gameplay gives us both racing fun and a glimpse of futuristic robot racing. You get 7 unique robots, each with 4 different skins, and you can only unlock them when successfully completed required races. The robots have variety of character traits, some fast others strong, and their skins are very well designed so that you feel like they're worth unlocking and buying. The game follows the traditional racing genre in offering obstacles, power-ups as well as some combat driving features such as weapons you can pick up and use to take your opponents out of play for a short period of time.
Robot Race offers two gameplay modes, Quick Race and Circuits Race. Each of the 6 tracks offers something unique and you don't feel like going over the same race respectively. As with the robots, track design incorporates futuristic style. One track has a clear surface and another has you fly through boost gates over the Hollywood sign. You don't see that in normal racing games! Weapons and obstacles too have a flare for future, and one of the most interesting obstacle is your robot getting a virus and won't be able to see anything but bad codes for a short time. The game design as a whole feels inventive and refreshing. The game has some small stability issues which caused crashing, but not often.
Graphics & Sound
The 3D graphics in Robot Race look polish and the animations smooth. The tracks don't have the details you'd see in ultra-realistic games such as Need for Speed series, but they're sufficient enough to create the atmosphere of the tracks and their surroundings. You'll find some familiar sights that remind you of race canon in Star Wars and cities that look like out of Star Trek. The robots also shine in their movements and smooth animation even though their rendering isn't super detailed. The different skins make the robots feel more expandable and help add more replay value. The accelerometer control works smoothly also and the simple button tap to jump and to use weapons and boost work well with the gameplay.
Robot Race equips each track with a unique sound track while keeping sound FX the same throughout all the tracks. The techno tracks are well mastered and designed to fit the futuristic theme of the game. The music sounds sharp and stylish. Sound FX pieces are limited but they fit with the gameplay well.
If you're looking for something different in the racing genre, Robot Race certain provides a new experience and fresh concept. The robots are very responsive to the control and the racetracks are well designed. The game offers 3 difficulty levels so that veteran and novice alike can find the sweet spot to enjoy the race at their level. The game gives you either accelerometer or touch control and different robots with noticeable difference in their abilities and features. We wish there were multiplayer mode and perhaps more variation in sound FX, but overall Robot Race is a very enjoyable racing game in a fresh form.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: -4- Not super detailed, but stylish and smooth. Sound: -4- Very enjoyable music tracks, could use a little more variety in sound FX. Controls: -5- Very responsive in either control choice, makes the gameplay smooth. Gameplay: -4- Lots of gameplay and replay, lots of stuff to unlock and purchase, could use a few tracks though.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Time your boost at the best time, don't miss the speed boosts in the tracks, and watch out for the crystals the other robots drop.