Driving in a 2D world still holds a bit of magic, especially for gamers yearning for simpler times, or enthusiasts who feel the need for speed sans all the visual theatrics. Delta-V Racing may be set in a galaxy far, far, away, but its technology, and intent, is extremely grounded. There is a sweet science in going back to the basics and unearthing a gem of a journey. Does this title live up to its promise or does it drift off into obscurity?
Upon first impression, Delta-V Racing is as uncomplicated as can be, and if you want to race within seconds, the learning curve is a blip on your radar. Moving up and down is all you need to know for navigating, which means your left thumb should get a healthy workout as the vehicle dodges walls and attempts to drive over power ups. The goal is to win each race, but thankfully money is also earned for the second and third place finishers.
Winning a competition hinges on how many speed power ups, which are distinguished by their light green color, you pick up along the way. As for that blue looking icon my ship is about to grab, those are weapon power ups. The other racer is a ghost that helps guide you through the tracks during the competitions, whether they be time trials or straight up mano-a-mano battles.
Even though it hangs its hat on a two dimensional environment, Delta-V Racing has a pure and clean visual feel that, mixed with all the eye popping colors, should light up your device. If one were to just look at ships go by and attempt to blast each other into oblivion, it would paint a pretty picture. But racing isn't for wallflowers, the meat of the genre is to fully immerse yourself in fray and see if you can truly cut the mustard.
A solid set-up and beautiful images can only carry a title so far, and unfortunately Delta-V Racing fails at its control mechanic. With each level featuring walls and corners you can smash into, along with other ships that are firing missiles from all different directions, racers must fly through the galaxy with the greatest of ease. Even if your chosen finger has quicksilver reflexes, bumping into walls is just inevitable. When blowing up your craft isn't completely your doing, but mainly the fault of an imperfect mechanic, real frustration kicks in. For example, try swiping your finger through this red maze. That white, squarish outline you see is the remnants of my craft vanishing into the distance.
There are intricacies to Delta-V Racing that I dug, such as the absolute necessity of beating your first boss if you wanted to progress in the game. As you race, you also should be cognizant over the weapon power ups you drive over since they will effect the direction of your missiles. A bit of strategy is needed within each race, but all of this is pretty meaningless if there is a flaw in the controls. Although I'm a glass half full kind of guy, Delta-V Racing definitely left me feeling thirsty. It sucks to know that you've earned enough cash to buy a better ship, only to realize you may never want to race again.
Delta-V Racing has all the trimmings of a potentially excellent app, but unfortunately in this world, whether it's two or three dimensional, execution is key. So if you really do have control issues in your real and iOS life, this flawed racer stalls at the starting line.