You won't read many reviews of Repulze which don't at least make a passing mention of the game that helped to sell a billion PS2s, Wipeout. It is after all a futuristic racer, one packed with a generous selection of hovering vehicles, and where you need to navigate the fluid, sky-high raceways through all of the twists, turns and breathtaking leaps that they throw at you.
This isn't simply an attempt to create a mobile homage to an old console favorite though, as there are a few clever twists to this game. Speed is controlled automatically for the most part, leaving you free to focus on steering around the spiraling neon tracks, but you also gain speed boosts via the game's intriguing polarity system.
All around the course there are red and green gates. At any one time, your craft is attuned to one of these colors, and while that attunement is active you must pass through the appropriately colored gate. Pass through the correct gate and you'll get a speed boost. Hit the wrong gate and you'll be slowed down considerably. Once three gates have been correctly navigated, the polarity is switched entirely and you'll be rewarded with a massive speed boost which can be activated whenever you fancy.
There are nine tracks to work your way through in total, each taking in a different polluted dystopia-of-the-future, whether that's a neon-streaked city or a grimy Martian settlement. Aside from the slow-moving convoy vehicles which occasionally trundle by and mess up your careful navigation, this is a resolutely single-player game. It's a bit of shame really, as we'd love to have raced against ghosted friends through some of these devilishly designed tracks.
In the absence of multiplayer, you're challenged instead to complete a variety of objectives to both earn XP and unlock new tracks. You might need to complete a number of laps with only a handful of collisions, for example, or beat a set time for completing the entire race. As you gain more XP you'll slowly level up to access new vehicles that have unique speed and handling stats, as well as cosmetic skins to add a little flair to your performance.
It would be easy to become a little too fixated on what might have been added to Repulze to round off the package, as what's available right now is an extremely satisfying and slick-looking single-player racing game, one that's packed with ingenious track design and a few welcome additions to the genre. Where others have merely replicated, Pixelbite has managed to innovate with its polarity boost mechanics, and it's a game that deserves a place on any racing fan's phone.Download Repulze (iOS)
What's Hot: A very slick Wipeout-inspired game with great track design, a unique polarity mechanic, and a generous selection of both tracks and vehicles.
What's Not: The convoy vehicles can cause no small amount of frustration. The game cries out for some form of competitive multiplayer.