AiRace Speed is a perfect example of a handheld game; it’s perfect for when you have only say five minutes until the bus comes or on your lunch break at work. This is the third game in the AiRace series from QuibicGames, and Speed has improved a fair bit over its predecessors. The first thing you will notice is the visual bump from the 3DS hardware and the more futuristic space visuals comparable to F-Zero even if they are bit industrial looking at times.
The objective in AiRace Speed is very simple you control a spaceship, and you have to manuvere it through claustrophobic tunnels, avoiding all obstacles while attempting to finish the course in as quick as possible. No opponents only your ship against moving and stationary objects and a stop watch.
The incredible sense of speed QuibicGames, has managed to pull off in every race is outstanding. Controls are fairly simple but when racing at such a fast pace it makes for some very fun gameplay. The analog stick or directional pad to controls you’re spaceship, L & R buttons to help in tight corners, acceleration, airbrake and boost. You can also use the touch screen to move the ship, but given the amount of accuracy needed this option is not recommended for any fast times. The game runs perfectly, without the slightest hic-up at a smooth 60 frames per second, so if you crash it’s because you were going to fast or you have just unlocked a new course you are not familiar with yet.
The courses here are based on adrenalin and navigating through tunnels whilst avoiding walls, obstacles, moving obstacles, rotating obstacles with small gaps, laser beams and gratings. All of these were designed to make you crash! Anyone who has played F-Zero or Wipepout won’t find anything new here but overall the levels are quite well designed even if they don’t offer anything new to the genre. On the plus side replayability comes from obtaining the gold medal, which is unlocked by beating a specific time on every course. Also the online rankings leaderboard is also a good place to continue to beat those times for some bragging rights.
I thoroughly enjoyed AiRace Speed, it lives up to its name as it really does offer a great sense of speed and a decent challenge, only downside is not racing against opponents and the sometimes bland environments. But none of that detracts from the gameplay and being able to have a quick bash at a time record is a great advantage that some handheld games are forgetting recently.
- Great sense of speed
- 60 frames per second
- Pick up and play for quick sessions
- Similar visuals for all courses
- Nothing new for the genre
- No multiplayer opponents
Score – 7/10
Written by Nick Pearce