Wrong Way Racing Review

Wrong Way Racing Review

Jun 16, 2014

Wrong Way Racing, from Cubed series creator Jared Bailey of No Can Win, takes a curious approach to the swiftly-developed, challenging, high-score game, a genre I’ve coined “flaplikes” after Flappy Bird. See, it’s a game not so much about the player, but their opposition: and it becomes a mind game as much as a challenging test of pinpoint skill.

See, the threat in Wrong Way Racing is the series of cars that are racing the ‘right way’ – avoiding crashing into them is the goal. There’s only two lanes, so getting in the one that they’re not in is paramount. But see, where many games are about keeping an eye on where the player character is, and making sure they don’t hit the obstacles, success in this game comes from watching the opposition.

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The line of opposing cars will make moves into the other lane around turns with such subtlety that it can be hard to see when it happens. At first, it might seem natural to just try and get out of the way when possible, but there’s the threat of moving from safety to danger. So, the key is actually to watch the computer cars: keep an eye on when they shift lanes – if they shift lanes – and only move accordingly. There’s a second part to this: knowing where the car you control is. This is pretty much based on memory, or catching quick reminder glances in the brief moments of safety from the other cars. The game gets steadily faster, but once the speed is acclimated to, it becomes a mental struggle more than anything to keep track of where everyone is.

Oh, and the way that the game will have the opposing cars stay in one lane for a few turns? It’s gut-wrenching because that anticipated shift just never comes. Jared Bailey, you devious developer, you.

The game is fairly basic, but there’s a fascinating depth inside of it. There’s basic voxel visuals similar to Cubed Rally Redline, Bailey’s house style, and the game restarts very quickly, with a free price and only occasional ads. Not game of the year, but among the flaplike crowd, it’s fascinating and worth checking out.

Cubed Rally Redline Review

Cubed Rally Redline Review

Jun 28, 2013

Most endless runners inspired by Temple Run take the standard behind-the-back perspective. Sure, Pitfall had a more dynamic camera angle, but that’s the exception. Cubed Rally Redline steps things up and does it from an isometric perspective, similar to developer Jared Bailey’s original version of Cubed Rally Racer that Android gamers sadly don’t have. However, where the game also differs from most 3D endless runners is in the number of lanes: there’s five to deal with here.

Good luck.

Really, Cubed Rally Redline is a clever take on the 3D endless runner genre out there by looking nothing like it at all, yet using many of its same conventions. There’s a car that drives endlessly forward, and players must avoid hazards by switching lanes and avoiding hitting anything, though there’s also fuel that needs to be collected. There’s no real surprise as to what’s coming ahead because the view is so zoomed out, but the challenge comes from the perspective. Managing five lanes and realizing spatially where the car is placed is a real challenge. This is what will define the successful Cubed Rally Redline player: keeping their head while all about are losing theirs. Also, not hitting the cows.

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Thankfully, the emergency brake helps to mitigate the challenges here. It temporarily slows things down just enough for the player to comprehend that “Yeah, that rock is in the lane I’m currently in. I should probably move.” Still, plenty of challenges with rapid movement are presented, so don’t think that the ability to slow down (with a recharge time!) is an instant-win button. It isn’t.

And really, the thing I’ve found myself appreciating about Cubed Rally Redline over time is that the game is just so different. It’s running on a different wavelength than every other endless runner that’s out there. It’s free-to-play but able to be enjoyed without caring about the coins, though being able to race as a cow is worth shelling out a few bucks, I’d say. This game is weird, sometimes frustrating, but yet oddly compelling whenever I play it.