Race After 1977 Review
- Detailed environments; multiple visual options to tweak performance on supported iDevices.
- Varied track designs; from simple ovals to complex tracks with multiple hidden routes.
- Unlockable vehicles with unique statistics.
- Heavily reliant on Skinner Box mechanics for player engagement.
- Soft, floaty physics; makes driving challenging for all the wrong reasons.
Race After 1977 is a decent racer with a well presented visual theme, but ultimately players are left with a basic game devoid of depth or any real meaningful progression.
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Despite presenting itself as a standard post-apocalyptic racer, Race After 1977 by Xpect Games is a hard game to peg down as it skitters the edge of a variety of different game types without really committing to any of them. Unfortunately things eventually resolve in to a fairly vanilla racer and you're left feeling deflated from all the potential that is left unrealized.
The first major choice you'll need to make comes in the form of settling on a control system that works for you. Tilt, touch and virtual steering-wheel options are available along with a somewhat rarer 'exponential' option to give your turns a sharp boost when you really need it. There's method in the madness of taking all of this time to experiment with the controls for one important reason - the racing itself feels incredibly weird.
Simply put, the cars feel like they float around the track on marshmallow suspension and track surfaces seem to have little to no real impact on your car, however tiny bumps in the road or from other cars can cause you to lose controls with ease. There's a level of realism here that's appreciated, but the overall effect is one that lends itself more to an arcade experience. Coupled with the gritty post-apocalyptic setting you'd also expect more in the way of weapons or traps or something else to take out opponents other than spinning them out with a tap on the rear wheel.
The game's visuals also swing dramatically between highs and lows, with the vehicles and environment design being incredibly varied and a feast for the eyes, but even on the highest graphic settings available the tracks look like blurred mud, making it hard to judge rough terrain without experiencing it blindly on your first lap. Sadly the only reward for progression is access to more races and the occasional new vehicle, with cash serving as almost little more than a checkpoint system for achievements.
Ultimately Race After 1977 simply feels like the framework for something greater, with players being left with nothing more than the racing aspect to keep them entertained; it's a visually exciting game, but without the gameplay to back it up it's simply a flashy racer without the bite to back up its bark.