Pixel Racer is a birds-eye view raceing game on iPhone and iPad that has you take control of bikes on a tight assault course across a meagre 24 levels.
The game begins with you selecting between ten racers but rather than having a complex and nuanced range of racer stats, you simply get different speeds of racers. The game may fool you into choosing the fastest bike, but the camera distance from the neon road is poor. Fast reactions are key to play and succeed in this game. Controlling the racers with a simple tap on the left or the right of the screen steers them, which is simple but with the iPhone version at least I found my thumbs really got in the way, which can be frustrating because your view and reactions are vital to completing each course in one piece.
The best features of this game really, is the music and the art style. Think of TRON’s aesthetic with Wipeout’s electronic beats combined into a racing game. The tracks are neon lit narrow paths to an ultimate goal with only corners and boost pads between you and your final goal. The levels are usually short, and therefore should be an ideal bathroom or lunch break game.
The problem Pixel Racer has is that it isn’t really a racing game, its more like a set of challenge rooms, which is fine but take into account there are only 24 different tracks and no other game modes, what you have is a lack of content for the user to peruse over. Pixel Racer is relying on you playing each level over and over to flesh out the game and compete for the quickest lap over Game Center. Playing each level multiple times is all well and good but the score is just a direct result of the speed of the vehicle you chose. Unlike other racing games where cornering skill comes into account and not just speed, Pixel Racer is lacking in mechanics and variables for the player to experiment with to get a faster lap.
Overall this game is lacking in polish on every level, it wants to be a competitive social score attack game like League of Evil or Angry birds, but unfortunately offers no variety in gameplay mechanics or level design to make it fun beyond the initial couple of hours.
MLG Rating: 5/10
Platform: iOS Release Date: 06/07/2011
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Pixel Racer for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on an iPhone. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.