Speed Forge Extreme [rating: 4.5/5]
Back in 1995 when I was a lot younger than I am now a new futuristic anti-gravity racing game was launched and I didn’t see the light of day again for what felt like a very, very long time. The game in question was Wipeout and it was for the original PlayStation. The ships hovered just above the tracks and flew at speeds that didn’t seem possible and certainly didn’t appear conducive to staying on the winding and undulating track. The game was accompanied by a booming baseline of a soundtrack which unlike so many games actually enhanced the game making you want to drive faster and faster, blowing up your opponents as your flew at hyper-speed.
I grew up though and soon the PS1 was replaced by a PS2 and along came the sequel to Wipeout which as with most games on the PS2 was bigger and better than it’s predecessor. But then as time went by the PS2 went away as did the time to spend gaming.
Over the last couple of years my gaming pleasure has been resurrected by the phenomenon that is the iPhone and once again I was back gaming, all be it on a much smaller device. By now I had forgotten about Wipeout and the hours upon hours of pleasure that it had brought me, until now that is……
Speed Forge Extreme is a futuristic anti-gravity racing game where your goal is to race the other spaceships around a series of tracks to reach the top of the podium using every means necessary, which in this case includes blowing up of the enemy craft using rockets and machine gun fire. In addition to the racing levels there are also battle arenas where your task is to blow up a set number of enemy craft before they do!
The game plays and feels just like the original Wipeout which in my opinion is high praise indeed. The tracks aren’t as expansive as it’s older brother but there is a nice variety amongst the dozen plus tracks and the music while not containing the big names of the original still offer some banging tracks which when listening via your headphones will blow you away as you travel.
The graphics are futuristic industrial style which are rendered in highly detailed 3D with OpenGL ES 2.0 integration and it suits the game perfectly. There are places that the darkness of the track are detrimental to your vision but it’s a small price to pay and after a few laps can be dealt with easily.
The controls are the standard fare these days for raising game but they can be tweaked to suit your preference. Auto accelerate is the default setting and it works well and steering is controlled by the accelerometer. However for me, and maybe it’s because I’m old school, I prefer to use the virtual controls for steering as it gives me more accuracy. However as I said before you can pick your preference and work with what’s best for you.
As you race the power ups are placed in holographic boxes on the track and racing through them will enable them for you to use. Speed-up and slow-down panels are also scattered around and as the slow down brings you to a virtual stop they are definitely worth avoiding. The weapons are shot using 3 virtual buttons on the right hand side of the screen and they are easy to use even when in the heat of battle.
There are 3 levels of difficulty. If you are new to this style of racing then easy or normal will be the starting level for you, while for those up for a challenge the hard level pitches things just perfectly. You start the game with a single ship and track to play with and as you win the races the next track is unlocked, ships are unlocked at less regular intervals but there is a nice variety to keep you entertained.
Speed Forge Extreme is a pleasure to play from start to finish and even when you have finished it you’ll still be playing this time and time again. If only there was a multiplayer option the game would have got a 5 out of 5.
- Banging sound track
- Smooth game play
- Two ways to play
The Not So Good
- Short tracks
- Lacks multiplayer
Reviewed by: Craig Willis
Speed Forge Extreme on iPhone 3GS
Price: $2.99 as of 13 Jan (iTunes Store)
Version reviewed: 1.1
Size: 62.2 MB
Seller: Chillingo Ltd