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The Greenlight Challenge #2 – ‘Race the Sun’

 

RacetheSunfeat

The Rundown 

In Race the Sun players navigate their space ship through randomly generated levels, attempting to avoid obstacles, collect power-ups, and travel as far as they can before the sun sets.

The Developer  – Flippfly

Past Experience – Monkey Drum (iOS)

Active Social Media Presence – Very active on Twitter ( @Flippfly , @ForestSanFilipp , and @AeornFlippout) active on Facebook.

Random Tweet –

Active Greenlight Presence – Decent. The interaction in the comments section is nice to see, but there have been only six announcement posts in five months, —and a three month gap where nothing was posted between February 6th and May 7th. While developers don’t want to spam Greenlight with unnecessary announcements, bi-monthly updates are nice. Make it a habit to summarize what has been going on over the past two weeks and copy paste that content to both Greenlight and IndieDB, for easy (and free) publicity. And then of course Tweet about the update.

Release Date – According to the Flippfly store “May/June 2013”.

RTS1

The Test

It’s funny that I randomly selected Race the Sun this week, following last week’s Last Knight. Both games fall into the “endless runner” genre but both offer slightly different experiences. One glance at the screenshots, or if you checked out the video of me piloting my way through some of the early sequences, you’ll immediately see that Race the Sun has a very minimalist style. This bare-bones design both helps and hurts the game. From my perspective, I know that the minimalist style 1.) helps the game run smoothly 2.) there’s no point in creating vast, rich environments when the player is just going to wiz through them, and 3.) won’t destroy the budget of the two developers. However, I’d imagine the casual gamer may see Race the Sun from a purely observatory standpoint and think the game looks boring.

Race the Sun is very challenging. It’s a game that 100% relies on quick reflexes, for success to be achieved. With Race the Sun comes the addicting “one more run” mentality that will keep players playing the game longer than they expected to. I felt like an Ace when I would finally make it through a particular challenging run, or by pure luck make it through a gap that my brain only registered as I slipped through it. With that said, Race the Sun only requires the use of a couple of buttons, allowing players of any skill level to give the game a try.

Flippfly learned the hard way that Greenlight isn’t the place for early concepts. Alpha builds, and beta builds sure…but anything that is put on Greenlight any earlier than that will struggle to find a foothold in the mass of entries. Because Race the Sun looks like a concept model itself, it undoubtedly caught flack for not looking like a finished product. This should serve as a warning for other developers, thinking of exposing the early builds of their game on Greenlight. You simply can’t afford to be on Greenlight, without putting your best  foot forward.

RTS2

The Verdict

Race the Sun is fun to play. It’s challenging, and rewarding, but what you see is what you get. If you’re not one for endless-runners, then you probably won’t find Race the Sun that appealing. If you do enjoy endless runners, or live with people who enjoy playing competitive, casual games, then Race the Sun should be on your radar.

Vote for Race the Sun on Steam Greenlight, or pick up the beta on the official website.



IGM's Editor in Chief. Particularly enjoys games that let him break things. You can reach him at tom@indiegamemag.com or on Twitter: @tomscott90


  • Drew Van Camp

    well, I think it looks great as is! love watching the gameplay videos. would love to play a demo sometime. this is one of my favorite game concepts of late.

  • Tom Christiansen

    http://www.kongregate.com/games/flippfly/race-the-sun an earlier version is available on Kongregate.