An impressive, Wipeout-inspired racing game.
You won't read many reviews of Flashout 3D that don't make at least a passing mention of the Wipeout series that propelled the original PlayStation to such stellar heights. It's a futuristic, platformed racer that takes in a host of next-century, real-world locations in a series of races that swoop beneath buildings, send you soaring through the air, and throw a heap of power-ups at you as you whizz around the cityscapes.
There are five different game modes in total (although the multiplayer and challenge sections are currently locked out awaiting a future update), leaving players with a career mode that contains plentiful cups, a time-trial mode, and the option to tackle the racing action one track at a time.
Perform well in any of these events and you'll earn money to spend in the garage on new ships and upgrades. The ships themselves are a mix of flavors, some specializing on speed, while others focus on agility, and others take a balance between the two. Those upgrades can give you quite the edge on the raceways too, whether you choose to load on a little nitrous boost before the start, or just strap on a rocket launcher that will blow your opponents to smithereens.
Of course, your opponents can use the weapons littered around the landscape against you too, and you'll have to weave frantically around the race course to stay out of their line-of-sight, and dodge their approaching cross-hairs. Should your ship lose its armor entirely you'll explode, and there's a brief pause while a replacement appears and the chasing pack inevitably races ahead.
There are two ways to control the craft on the raceway, either by using a virtual joystick or by tilt steering. In truth we found both methods a little unwieldy at first, and you'll have to spend no small amount of time with the sensitivity settings. Still, a little practice, and a lot of tinkering, and you should have no trouble finding a middle-ground that just about works for you.
Visually, the game is an extraordinary technical accomplishment, and makes as good an argument as any other game that we're not too far away at all from a day where mobile games give their living-room console counterparts a run for their money. The tracks are well-designed, with plenty of thrilling jumps and speed strips to keep you flying high through the likes of New York, Berlin and Beijing.
Your early moments with Flashout 3D are likely to involve a little frustration as you tease at the controls to find an acceptably smooth response. Persevere though, and you'll ultimately be rewarded with some of the most thrilling racing gameplay that mobiles have to offer.
Review code supplied by the developer
What's Hot: Incredible graphics, a great variety of ships and courses, and a meaty weapons upgrade system.
What's Not: The controls are a little fussy and you'll have to tweak them into shape. No multiplayer at launch.