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iPhone game of the day: Race After 1977 - like a post-apocalyptic Cruis'n USA

On iPhone
Game:
Race After 1977
Price: $0.99 / £0.59 (at post time)
Size: 79.4 MB
Get it now on iTunes: US / UK

If you've ever wanted to zoom around the charred remains of the Statue of Liberty, Race After 1977 is your game (you statue-and-possibly-freedom hater). The game takes place on 10 tracks over five different environments, all depicting a different landmark that's been leveled by a nuclear holocaust. Funnily enough though, that's the sole gimmick of the game. There are no weapons you use against other drivers, no environmental hazards to crash down upon you. You can only advance by placing in the races with good white-knuckled steering.

And steering is rough, since this is more of an arcade-style game with slippery handling on each vehicle. You'll need to embrace the straightaways in each course to build up good momentum, and learn to handle each veer so you don't spin out or wind up facing the wrong way. As you progress through the game, more and more vehicles get unlocked that handle progressively better, but every first time on a new course is usually devoted to learning the ins and outs of it. You can forget about placing or advancing if you're just getting acquainted with the course, but that's okay. That means there's a challenge here - especially since Race After 1977 prides itself on dishing out uneven and unpredictable terrains.

Occasionally, since the game is so graphically impressive, there are frame-rate issues that pop up - particularly when there's something dazzling happening onscreen like a long jump after you've bumped two other drivers out of the way. It will likely be vetted out with the mandatory app updates all iOS games get, and shouldn't be a deterrent to check out what at its core is a solid racer that focuses more on the fundamentals than aping other trendier games.

May 4, 2011

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