Why am I racing the sun, trying my utmost to get to the horizon before it sets? How does the boost upgrade give me more time to get there? That’s just moving the sun, which is insanely difficult to do once, let alone repeatedly. None of these questions are answered in the time I played. I’m not sure if they are actually answered at all. So... Do I care? No. I'm having too much fun.
More power to the engines Scotty!
If you ignore the complete lack of plot, point, order and reason, this game is seriously good fun. Your ship flies forward on solar power and you have to get to the horizon before the sun sets. I’m not too sure why that is - maybe you just need to get home before your parents notice that you’ve been out all day and you want to cover up your absence. Maybe there’s a war going on and you need to get to the safe zone. Maybe the planet is exploding and you have to get to the rescue ship. Who cares? Bolting through a maze of random obstacles while going at stupidly high speed is exhilarating, plot or no.
The key selling point of Race the Sun is the fact that the course is removed and replaced with a different one each day, so you’ll never get the same course twice. As the course is also very long, there’s almost infinite variety in the game. There’s also an infinite number of pyramids ready to pop out of the fog and make you crash. The main object of Race the Sun is to get to the other end without crashing. Plain and simple.
Of course, there are a few neat tricks to it - it’s not just crashing that you have to avoid. Your ship is solar powered, and will be drained of power if it’s in a shadow for too long. There’s also the added difficulty of boosting; if you don’t hit those boosts, your ship will never make it. Along with jumps and other pickups, there are a variety of things to look out for, as well as grey objects that might ruin your day. Most important of pickups is Tris. Tris is an ingame currency that translates into points. The more Tris you collect on your run, the higher your score, the higher you are on the global leaderboard. There is also an in game store system which allows you to modify your ship to give you certain bonuses.
Meet the devs
We were fortunate enough to have Forest San Filippo answer our questions about the game. He's the cofounder of Flippfly as well as a freelance designer and musician. Here's what he had to say.
88 miles per hour
All in all, Race the Sun is a very simple game - get to a point as fast as you can and dodge things. I haven’t been putting in all these speed references for nothing however, there’s a real sense that you’re going very fast. It’s almost as if the pilot really is gunning it, and that’s brilliant. The notion of speed is something not every racing game gets right, yet Race the Sun hits that feeling bang on, to the point where you’re cringing at every near miss. It’s a wonderful indie gem that you’d be a fool to pass up, and with an infinite number of tracks you’ll never be totally bored.