airrace

Sponsored Game Review: AirRace SkyBox

March 25, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

Despite the fact that touch is a driving force behind many mobile games, there’s always been the mostly unexplored area of mobile gaming that utilizes accelerometers and gyroscopes that seem to come in every smartphone these days. Through the use of tilt, a mechanic that used to be mostly exclusive to the Nintendo Wii, developers can create fun and unique gameplay experiences. AirRace SkyBox is perhaps one of those games, read on to see if that’s the case.

Description: As the title suggests, this is a game that puts you in the pilot seat of an AirRacer as you pilot through 10 different race courses. You’ll pilot your own Sukhoi 26, which you can customize, as you fly through gates to gain more points. Each environment is different and features good-looking 3D graphics for you to take in from either a cockpit view of the plane or a 3rd-person view. The scores of each race are record so, you can compete with everyone across the globe and see how you shape up against the rest. Take a look at the video below to take a closer look:

How it Works: To get started with this flight game you’ll have to download it from the Play Store, which doesn’t take long, and then you’re all ready to embark on your first flight.

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When you had into the main menu, you’ll notice a number of items. If you’re completely new to the game, then it’s a good idea to head over to “Training” to try your hand at flying.

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When you start your first flight, you’ll notice how sensitive the controls are, and if you’re not used to these sorts of games, then it might be a little bit of a problem. Do a level or two with the controls on default to see if you can get used to them:

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When you’re flying through races, you’ll see a number of icons around the display, these match those found in between the gates. Above, you can see the “3” icon lit up, this means you have to fly through the gate straight – as outlined in the icon – and then click it as you pass through a gate. The “1” figure, in the top-left of the screen, indicated you must go through a gate sideways.

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As you progress through the game, there are more environments you’ll come across, that vary in their look and feel:

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You can also adjust how you view your plane as you fly around the levels:

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Opinion: I play a lot of games on smartphones and tablets – specifically my Nexus 7 – and a lot of the time they feature onscreen controls, akin to a console controller, which really really doesn’t work well for me. The controls in AirRace SkyBox took a bit of time getting used to but, once I was used to them, it was a lot of fun to fly this plane around levels. While the graphics might not be stunning they’re certainly pretty good and they have a sort of PlayStation look and feel about them.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – There were no issues when playign the game and it’s paced very well, you’ll certainly have to be awake to play this one!
  • Features (3/5) – AirRace SkyBox comes with a good variety of leves but, I’d like to see some more options, like a way to invert the X and Y axes. 
  • Theme (4/5) – This is a good-looking game and the 3D graphics do a good job of making the environment feel three-dimensional.
  • Overall (4/5) – While the controls take some time getting used to there’s more than enough in here to keep you occupied and the game is a lot of fun overall.

Pros

  • Graphics have a good look to them and they deliver a decent 3D experience.
  • Complete use of accelerometer on the smartphone delivers a unique gameplay experience.
  • Good variety of levels and environments to play through.
  • Online element fits in well with the overall game.

Cons

  • More tweaking, especially with the controls would help.
  • Ads can be a little obtrusive in the free version.

Conclusion: When playing with AirRace SkyBox I found it to be a lot of fun and I appreciated the breath of fresh air where controls were concerned. Too many times am I greeted with awkward onscreen controls that sour a good experience. When tilting and twsiting your device, you feel like you’ve really got to try to keep your plane on course. I would like some more options for controls, like inversion of axes but, overall they work very well. Graphically the game is good, and would remind a lot of you of a PlayStation game, which is certainly not a bad thing. For those looking for a game to play that isn’t the same old, same old then give AirRace SkyBox a try, you might learn to love it.

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