Air Race Speed is a single player futuristic jet racing game from Qubic Games. Having seen releases on the 3DS and iPad over the last couple of years it now makes the jump to everyone’s favourite underdog, the PS Vita.
Air Race Speed is not like traditional racers as there are no opponents to beat. It’s purely you against the clock! Right from the first level the game definitely shows you its need for speed, as you are racing through tunnelled tracks at speeds of over 400mph navigating tight gaps and openings. Accuracy is key as one wrong move at these speeds will send you crashing into an obstacle or a wall which will cause you to wipe out. This will give you a three second penalty when the race is over which isn’t good when you’re aiming for the fastest time possible.
Split into three tiers each consisting of nine tracks Air Race Speed goes for the “earn stars” approach to unlocking tracks and other. This approach isn’t as daunting as you’d expect, you only need to earn the bronze star on a track to open up the next and once you have the jets that have better handling, increased top speed and faster acceleration you can go back to earn the remaining stars with ease. Each tier has eight race levels and ends with an endless level where you are given three lives and must travel as far as you can. There are also bonus levels where you need to fly your jet through rings like a high-speed version of Pilotwings. If you’ve a competitive nature there’s online leaderboards for you to try to top. *tip – you’ll need to scour the tracks for every shortcut and fastest route if you want to shave off the seconds.
Qubic Games have catered for everyone with the controls you can use the left stick, the d-pad or tilting for steering, the X button or down on the right stick to brake and the O button or up on the right stick for the Nitro. You can also roll left and right with the bumpers but I never needed to use them while playing.
The game has 41 trophies, including a platinum. Most of them are fairly easy to obtain. With trophies for unlocking all the jets, getting 35 gold stars and beating a level 30 seconds faster than the gold star time you’ll always be pushing yourself to get a quicker jet and a faster time. Even the trophies that you’d normally consider a grind; play for ten hours, crash 1000 times and travel for 2500 miles popped while I was still enjoying the game.
Air Race Speed is a hi-octane, well-made time trial racer and it’s the perfect fit for the PS Vita. It looks good, its controls are responsive and accurate and its soundtrack compliments the futuristic setting. If you want to treat your Vita to something new in 2017 make it this game.
NelMaNo Rating – 8/10
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