OutRush is a simplistic and surprisingly challenging flying game that features graphics and music straight out of the "outrun" side of YouTube. To be specific, it has the sort of laser and vector graphics that you normally see in vaporwave videos, along with a lovingly-rendered 3D aircraft, and music by Venezuelan electro duo Dilkadesh, including some exclusive tracks made just for the game. This high-octane, stylized take on the infinite runner genre sports simple mechanics and intuitive controls for a small number of actions that combine with environments, set pieces and enemies to form a deep and punishing game that's not afraid to wow you and kick your butt, sometimes both at once. It's available for free in the Play Store and boasts a relatively small file size and low system requirements, so there's no real reason not to give it a chance if you're bored.
It even makes sense - kind of
You start the game as a stranger stranded in a mysterious virtual land. An enigmatic helper guides you through the basics, then informs you that the system is aware of your presence and has started to mount defenses against you. From there, the b challenge starts getting crazier. Your ship is able to fly across three different vertical levels, and can also do a barrel roll to fit through vertical and horizontal holes in obstacles, apply the brakes to buy you more time to react, and boost to finish levels quicker and barrel through weak obstacles. The game is oriented vertically and is meant to be played with one hand. That doesn't necessarily mean it's easy, of course. In fact, it's actually pretty difficult, even for action game veterans. From the get-go, you'll be faced with split-second obstacles, moving targets, and more. Eventually, you'll have to fight, too. The game is a reflex-testing challenge from beginning to end, but will eventually get even harder. You will soon be able to make custom levels, or download levels that others have made, making players imaginations' and the constraints of the game engine the only real barriers. On top of that, there will be a new level updated daily, the "Level of the Day", that players can compete in. A timeline for these features has not been announced, but they are on the roadmap. The developer is constantly on top of the game, responding to Google Play reviews and putting out new updates, so don't be afraid to share your thoughts if you find the game unsatisfactory or have any ideas that may improve it.
What more do you want?
This title is a near-perfect marriage of vaporwave and synthwave culture in the context of mobile gaming. It's challenging yet easy to pick up and play, super simplistic, and features an immersive world and soundtrack that draw you in for the short bursts of time you're meant to spend with them. A game like this has the potential to do well outside of its intended audience, and may well achieve some measure of mainstream popularity. Should that happen, expect to see even more instances of the 80s-inspired vaporwave and synthwave culture creeping into the mobile space. The Google Play Store is already rife with games that put mobility and bite-sized gameplay first, but seeing more of them take a more challenging and immersive approach as this one has would certainly be welcome.