Reviewer’s Note: I played this game on PlayStation 4. There may be differences between versions.
As far as endless runners go, I don’t spend much time in the genre. Yet Race the Sun came along for free and I decided to give it a shot. Is it worth trying to win this impossible race, or should I have given up before I started?
The first thing I noticed about Race the Sun was its minimalist art style. It’s quite striking and pleasing to look at. It also makes it clear what will and will not kill me, and I greatly appreciate that. It’s also clear what the sun does and does not touch, which makes it easy for me to tell where to go. Finally, power ups are also easy to both spot and differentiate from each other, so I never had an issue with that. Race the Sun is a great example of keeping a game as clean and minimalist as possible while still making it look good and be easy to play. I also really enjoyed the game’s soundtrack.
As an endless runner your only goal in Race the Sun is to survive as long as possible while gathering as many points as possible. My craft would continue to go forward as long as it’s in the sun, though leaving its warm embrace will cause my battery to die and eventually my craft to come to a crashing halt. I also had to avoid crashing into objects, and the game always kept me on my toes by including blocks that shifted and moved, or missiles that would rain down from the sky. At first this is basically an inevitable action after a few areas, but as I kept playing the game I was able to level up and unlock new power ups that would appear on the course, and mods for my solar powered aircraft.
Yet to level up I had to complete challenges that would earn me between 1 to 3 points. These would range from simple things like traveling distances, to much harder challenges such as completing a certain amount of barrel rolls in a single run. The challenges are fun and always kept me on my toes and prevented me from getting too comfortable with falling into one easy style. I also liked how the course would reset every 24 hours, which let me spend some time learning and getting used to a specific build but still made it easy to come back for more at later times.
Over time I also unlocked two other gameplay modes in Race the Sun: Apocalypse and Labyrinth. Apocalypse is basically the same game but in a turbo mode. Labyrinth is a little more unique as it pulls the view back and slows things down, requiring me to run a complicated maze while not having to worry about the sun. Both modes are a welcome addition that add more replay value to the game, though I honestly found the main mode to be the most well balanced and compelling of the bunch.
I don’t know if I’d want to pay more than $5 for it, but Race the Sun is a surprisingly entertaining game that I got more out of than I could have ever imagined. If you’re a fan of endless runners than this is one that I highly suggest giving a few goes.