148Apps Network Post
Developer: Xpect Games
Price: $4.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Do you remember the film Mad Max?  Now imagine they designed a game that was devoid ofMel Gibson’s presence, but contained all of the grit a grime of a world that peaked in the year 1977.  If Race After 1977’s fiction is to be believed, were civilization to come to a screeching halt forty plus years ago, mankind would break itself into nomadic tribes that compete against each other in vehicular racing for regional supremacy.  Sure, it may sound like the script from a Need For Speed prequel starring Vin Diesel’s father, but maybe this arcade racer has a bit more going on under the hood than it initially appears.

If you are stepping behind the wheel of a game set in a post-apocalyptic setting, it is safe to assume that hardcore racing simulations should be the furthest from your mind.  There is no better evidence of this than the game’s car models: they actually lack the ability to flip over.  Vehicles will skid on their side for immense distances, be careened into by other race participants, or even slammed into concrete and otherwise solid embankments, only to have either the passenger or driver side doors remain in contact with the ground at all times.

Another sticking point are the weakly implemented controls.  No matter which schema you chose to use, whether it be the digital steering wheel, analog left and right buttons, or device tilt, all will leave you wondering why everything feels so floaty.  There is a lack of precision at every level that prevents the player from ever feeling completely in control of their car.

In a racing game, imprecise controls alone can spell death, but luckily for Race After 1977, the game has some redeeming qualities.  For example, many of the ten tracks contained in the game are massive and contain several branching paths, scattered throughout.  Even if it has very little influence on the outcome of the race, the illusion of options makes each race feel more exciting.  Another positive working in the game’s favor are the detailed environments, which not only appear expansive, but contain quite a bit of detail as well.  Just be sure not to look too closely, because under a microscope these textures don’t quite hold up as nicely.

To tie Race After 1977 up with a nice bow, it would be best described as an interesting setting for a racing game with a solid track collection that is unfortunately weighed down by poor execution on the part of physics and vehicular control.  Given a little more time it could be something very special, but it could use a bit more engine work to have everything firing on all cylinders.



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