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‘Race the Sun’: An insanely addictive racer with a remarkably original premise

‘Race the Sun’: An insanely addictive racer with a remarkably original premise


As a kid, I used to love racing games. From Super Mario Kart to Wave Race or San Francisco Rush, my formative years were filled with a brimming affinity for competitive racing, particularly when I could wrangle a compadre for some couch-bound multiplayer. However, as I got older, and friends who gamed regularly were busier or harder to come by, my interests shifted away from genres like sports, fighting or racing, that relied on having another person to help you enjoy the game.

With Race the Sun developer Flippfly have handily dealt with this issue by giving you a permanent and ongoing opponent in the form of the sun itself. Taking control of a solar-powered vehicle that resembles a cross between Star Fox‘s AR-Wing and an F-Zero hover module, you’re tasked with chasing the setting sun while dodging increasingly difficult obstacles including a shifting landscape, a variety of road hazards and even explosive meteors that rain down from the sky.

As your score ratchets up for every second you stay alive, the game offers an addictive incentive to try again and again to beat your personal best, and with the level layout changing every 24 hours, that next achievement is never fully out of reach, just shifted until circumstance and skill allow you to outdo your previous successes anew.


Certainly there are many games that have utilized celestial or planetary themes and imagery in the past but few have succeeded on the scope and level that Race the Sun does. The game design and control stand tall among the all time strata of racers and endless runners, and despite the probable cynicism that a claim like that might typically receive, Race the Sun is deserving of all of that praise and more. The thrill of having the sun sinking below the horizon and shadows growing around you as you inch closer to setting a new high score, the agony of weighing out the potential pros and cons of a sun-boost pickup (which will raise your speed significantly, making it more likely to hit obstacles, but will also raise the sun up, buying you more time) or in which crucial moment to use your precious jump ability, make for a game that never loses its aching suspense or endlessly addictive nature.

Though it features a simple idea and an even simpler gameplay structure, Race the Sun has found a tepid ground between the linking framework of endless runners, racing games and rogue-likes, striking gold with a solar-powered pickaxe in the process. If you were one of the lucky folks who received the game for free on Steam during the recent day-long event than I would encourage you to purchase the Sunrise DLC to show your support for this fantastic game and its developer. Games like this are a rare breed and they deserve all of the players they can possibly get.

Race the Sun is currently available on PC, Mac, PS3 and PS4.