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Ion Racer Review

By Dave Flodine, on April 30, 2012


Ion Racer
  • Publisher: SGN
  • Genre: Arcade
  • Released: 28 Mar, 2012
  • Size: 44.2 MB
  • Price: FREE!
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • The focus and strike boosts are a great addition to either speed up or slow down time.
  • The trail of orbs can both help and hinder.

CONS

  • Could use more track variation.
  • Upgrading is a slow process.

VERDICT

Ion Racer plays like an endless runner with hover racers. How far can you get as the track steadily speeds up, and how many points can you accumulate before your enviable crash and burn?


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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Perhaps it's an unfair expectation, but upon hearing the title, we expected a sub-atomic racer where electrons and protons sped past each other, the winners gaining atomic and molecular supremacy. What we have is a free to play Wipeout-esque hover racer that plays out like an endless runner on an extended track to nowhere. With some manipulation of time and plenty of upgrades, lets see how this handles as a game.

Control is standard iPhone racer fare. Tilting turns you left and right and the game revolves around following the constantly moving trail of orbs, smashing through the blue barriers for points, while avoiding the red ones, as they will take your health. In each bottom corner is a button that manipulates time in a sense. The focus button on the left will slow down time until you run of energy, making ducking and weaving through obstacles more stress-free, while the strike button on the right will speed you up, allowing you to smash through those nasty red barriers. The game keeps speeding up and throwing more crazy at you until you finally crash and burn.

Upon crashing, the game will tally up how many kions you've earned which acts as the game's currency. These can be used to upgrade your racer's stats, buy new skins, buy new racers, and purchase new perks. Perks are selected at the start of each race. They run the gamut from free repair during play, to starting on the speed you crashed at. The game starts you off with three of all the perks, but of course those wont last forever. Kions are also available for purchase for a price, and if you wish to avoid grinding this is a necessity because you'll have to race many many times to save up enough currency to max out your racer or purchase others.

While the mission structure and its bonuses allows for accumulation of wealth, the grind aspect coupled with the rather bland track design brings the longevity of this title into question. The time aspect is fun, and the missions give you a sense of purpose, but even as a free game, there's not much here to keep the racers racing, and that is indeed a shame.

Screenshots

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