Even the best apps aren't guaranteed an excellent fate, and with the glut of games coming out each week, it's easy to forget the good ones. Protoxide: Death Race, a racer which came out back in 2011, has willed itself back into relevance, as its offering their title up for free. With the prevalence of annoying in-app purchases, one has to wonder about the true value of a free to play experience. Is Protoxide: Death Race's resurrection worth the trouble or should it stay stuck in the past?

There is an inescapable "been there, done that" feeling to Protoxide: Death Race that may irritate players who've made the rounds with the Wipeout franchise or have seen Star Wars way too many times to count. But thanks to its addicting, tilting gameplay mechanic, I was completely at ease traversing familiar territory. I'm a sucker for driving vehicles by grabbing my iPad or holding my iPhone and looking like a frenzied neurotic. Such movements place me as the center of attention at my local coffee shop, though my Protoxide: Death Race gesticulations have kept people at a a fair distance.

Such solitude is perfect for Protoxide: Death Race, whether it's campaign, survival, or a quick race mode, you're not expected to make any friends. After all, this is not just a 'who finishes first' type of bargain. Locking, loading, and blasting your competitors is also on the menu, hence the game's deathly tone.

The lower left side of your device contain your brake and acceleration pads, and to shield yourself from backhanded missile attacks, the shield icon on the right side will keep you protected for a few seconds. Maneuvering your war glider is a bit tricky, as even the slightest shift could send your craft bumping against its share of walls and tunnels, thus slowing down your speed time and making you a sitting duck for your enemies.

Even though the game is as simple as the day is long, the actual elements of grabbing speed power ups and nitro speeding your way through the track, along with blowing your colleagues to bits, is just pure fun. Not a whole ton of thinking is necessary in this racer, but it does satisfy both one's proverbial need for speed and combat. Plus, I'm one of those morons who gawk at pretty and shiny things, so all those different power ups, whether they were health bars, missile launchers, or nitro shots, were all welcome.

The freemium model for Protoxide: Death Race is also a plus, since it really didn't annoy the heck out of me. Sure, you may have a Michael Buble ad pop up in the middle of a dogfight, but it's really no big deal. Ads are also featured in the main menu, and if they really screw with your head, they can be removed for $0.99. And with all the available action to be had along with Protoxide's solid visual look, it's definitely worth a free download.

Will Protoxide: Death Race keep you up at night or destroy your work habits? Not by a long shot. It's an app that doesn't really set the world on fire, but now that it's resurfaced with its free to play deal, giving it a chance won't kill your vibe. It's not as deathly or deadly as it wants to be, but neither am I. Seeing Michael Buble in a war glider would have moved my meter, but that's a topic for another day.


App Store Link: Protoxide: Death Race for iPhone & iPad | By HeroCraft Ltd. | Price: Free | Version: 1.1.2 | 144 MB | Rating: 4+

6.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating