Lunar Racer, a physics-based arcade racer from Noodlecake Studios, is now available from the app store. With gameplay reminiscent of Dream Track Nation, you’ll flip and spin your way through space-themed tracks, using both gravity and nitro to control your vehicle while collecting MoonBux and outpacing AI competitors (or your friends via local multiplayer) in a bid to reach the finish line first.
Lunar Racer Pros:
- Great minimalistic style with bright colors
- Fast-paced and catchy soundtrack
- Simple controls and fun weapons
- Customizable cars and a variety of tracks
- GameCenter and OpenFeint integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Lunar Racer Cons:
- Customizations do not impact performance of vehicles
- Somewhat repetitive
Lunar Racer contains a dozen courses upon which to race. Each race lasts but a few laps, and you can collect power-ups and weapons to hamper your competitors and give yourself an advantage. Your ability to use nitro can push you past other racers and send you airborne through large groupings of sky high MoonBux, while your influence over gravity brings you back to the track. Power-ups appear in the form of boxes that, when passed, initiate a Mario Kart-like rotation of a half-dozen possible powers in the bottom center of the screen before settling on one. Tapping this box initiates your weapon, which could be a missile, a space mine, a bubble shield, or a nitro refill. In addition to beating other racers to the end line, there are three challenge goals that, when met, allow you access to bonus areas full of MoonBux, unlimited nitro, and no opponents. You get to go wild and collect as much coin as possible within a short time. Each met goal also gives you a multiplier that increases the MoonBux earned on that run. You earn stars for completing the race in first, second, or third place. The stars are used to unlock future courses, and earning a first place finish on any course gives you access to the Pro mode of that course.
Graphically, Lunar Racer has a similar style to Noodlecake’s first release, Super Stickman Golf, with colorful environments and subtle detail. Environments are littered with purple MoonBux, which are spent on vehicle customizations that appear to be purely aesthetic, a slightly disappointing discovery. Still, if you’re the type who loves to switch things up, there are a ton of different combinations of bodies, canopies, wheels, nitro trails, and paint jobs that should satisfy. The soundtrack is fast-paced, quirky, and catchy, a nice fit for the game’s style. The controls are super simple to use. Holding your thumb on the left half of the screen increases gravity, while holding on the right half gives you a nitro boost. Your remaining nitro appears in a bar at the screen top, giving a quick visual indicator of your remaining ability. The car automatically drives toward the right, and tilting the device while airborne allows you to rotate your orientation. Performing back flips and front flips adds the benefit of replenishing a portion of your nitro bar.
Replay value is good if you want to unlock all of the possible customization options, though an online multiplayer component would have gone a lot further in boosting replayability. Local multiplayer is nice, but not everyone has friends near enough to take advantage. GameCenter and OpenFeint integration is included for global leaderboards and achievements. A universal app at a launch sale price of $0.99, Lunar Racer is an enjoyable 4-Dimple release.
Lunar Racer Review,