Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PAX East 2014: Race the Sun (Flippfly)

Spring has arrived, and with that, another PAX East has sprung up, inviting gamers and game developers from all over the world to Boston, all to show upcoming games and revel in what the industry has in store.  We at Third Rate Minion were there, and we got to try out a sampling of what was there on the showfloor!


If you were around the multiple clusters of Indie games at PAX East, you would have likely seen Flippfly's Race the Sun playing nearby.  It was present for a day in the Indie Minibooth as well as its own full booth on the showfloor, and it was also part of the Kickstarter Lounge just upstairs from the showfloor itself.  It was a busy time for Co-Founder Aaron Filippo, but we able to catch some time with him to talk about Race the Sun, its upcoming PSN release, and Flippfly's next project, Hexarden.

Race the Sun is an endless racer in which players control a solar-powered aircraft toward a constantly-setting sun.  In order to stay active and continue racing, players must avoid colliding with the world's obstacles as well as their cast shadows, all while they find as many score-boosting items and special abilities along the way.  Based on the score earned in a run, players can then upgrade their aircraft to better maneuver the next time toward the sun.  Those who are concerned for replayability should not worry, as the world of Race the Sun changes once a day, taking players to different worlds every 24 hours.

The PlayStation Network version of Race the Sun promises to build upon what the Steam version has to offer, although Aaron could not confirm whether the World Creator would make its way in or not.  If the Creator cannot make it, Flippfly will try to work out deals with the community's modders so that the best levels can make their way onto the PSN version somehow.  Also, an unannounced mode will be created specifically for the PSN version, and Cross-Buy and Cross-Save are both confirmed.

I had a short playtime while I was at the booth, but Race the Sun is certainly a rush.  It appears to be similar to some endless runners, but the Star Fox SNES aesthetic combined with a constantly-changing world makes it more than ordinary.  Movement needs to be precise in order to clear gaps and make your way outside of danger, and I found myself able to do it more readily after a few runs.  That does not mean I was that good at the game, though, as I still crashed more than not within the first two Regions.  Thankfully, it is not like it will be a problem forever, as the next day would bring a new world for me and everyone else to run through.

While it was not shown at PAX East itself, Flippfly was showing off a teaser poster for Hexarden, a polar opposite of their last game.  In Hexarden, players place plants in hexagonal panels, and based on how the plants have been placed, the Hexarden will grow in specific ways.  More details will arrive in the near future.

The PSN versions of Race the Sun will be releasing this Summer, and Hexarden is aimed for a late 2014 release for now.  The PC version of Race the Sun is available now!  Check it out for yourself!  For more on Flippfly, click here.

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