At first glance, the idea of racing opponents through twelve different sky tracks sounds great, but Sky Racer seems to be missing something. More a flight simulator than a racing game, the casual gamer will find little if he comes looking for an arcade style flight fix. There is no head-to-head racing, and the only competitive component is besting your own previous times. It’s too bad. The game looks good, but it doesn’t live up to its own name.
Graphics: The 3-D visual presentation of this simulator is certainly above average for the iPhone. Even though the scenery is bit ho-hum, the visual differences in time and weather are a nice touch. Also, the runway lights at night are gorgeous.
Variety: Customized weather settings and five different plane choices add both replay value and depth to the game.
Controls: As with most flight games in the app store, the accelerometer is used to steer, but where Sky Racer excels is in the variant subtleties of each plane. Some reach altitude easily while others seem to put along as they labor to get higher and higher. These differences seem legit based on the technologies inherent in each aircraft. This feature is attractive for those who enjoy who enjoy realism in their fliers.
Learning curve: As with most simulators, the game requires a base knowledge of flight mechanics in order to perform basic maneuvers like taking off and landing. This would be fine if the game came with some sort of tutorial. Even though the optional auto pilot and onscreen hints help, the learning curve may be a bit steep for the average gamer.
Buggy: Although the physics engine driving this game is solid, the folks at Warelex seems to have dropped the ball when it comes to finesse. Case in point: players must start a new game in order to play subsequent tracks even if they successfully completed previous ones. Also upon safely landing, your plane sometimes appears stuck nose-up on the landing strip for no apparent reason. This lack of polish doesn’t kill the game, but it is a distraction.
Taken as a stunt flier, Sky Racer is good, but declaring it a racing title is a stretch. Hopefully an update will fix the bugs and include some sort of head-to-head racing option as the name suggests. Serious flight fans will probably want to check this title out, but the rest of us can leave this one in the hangar.
Sky Racer was developed by Warelex LLC and is currently available for the sale price of $0.99; the regular price is $2.99. This game was reviewed at version 1.0 on a iPod Touch 2G equipped with the 3.1.1 OS.