Race the Sun – Glow

RaceTheSun

Rush.

Crash.

Repeat.

Rush.

Crash.

Repeat.

Rush.

          The sun is always there, imbuing this pristine, grey landscape with a vibrant glow. It’s always there, omnipresent. Race the Sun, it’s called. Implications of rivalry. The sun is to be beat. Yet, the sun couldn’t be more essential to one’s survival. Sunlight powers your spacecraft. Without it, you succumb to the shadows of abstract shapes, cube monoliths, leering pyramids protruding from the ground like teeth. The more you journey into the horizon, the more you realize that the sun isn’t a competitor. It’s your anchor. It gives you energy, lights your path, to put it in saccharine terms. You find that you’re not as much racing the sun but racing to it, racing to meet its glow. And once you sync with the game’s rhythm, speeding through this space is almost spiritual. The sun. A virtuous goal, one that is so hard to reach.

Crash.

          Those shapes…fading in, blocking the sun. Minimalist shapes. They all have the semblance, the outline of something our own world. Trees. Mountains. Windmills. However, there’s no interest in creating a world, but creating regions. Region 1. Trees. Rocks. Monoliths. Region 2. Towers, Mountains. Blimps. Pyramids. So on and so forth. Each region ramps the tension, obscures the bright mood, blocks the horizon, grows the shadows. A primal sense of fear begins to settle in. That sense of rhythm and peace begins to thin out. Each obstacle becomes a jolt of adrenaline. Each shadow a monstrous presence. The horizon grows darker, redder. Sun goes down. Time. You realize. Time is the enemy. You drive into power ups that speed you up by rewinding the world back. You need that sun to be up there. You need it. But then… it stops. A bang. A gunshot to the senses. You’ve crashed. You’ve lost energy. It’s over…except…

          Repeat.

          Restart? Race the Sun reveals its rogue-like structure. Die, start from the beginning. Region 1 welcomes you back. You discover that there’s a climb. Beat more objectives, you level up. Get more points, level up. New abilities. Different ways to beat time and obstacles. Rewards, motivators to continue this journey over and over again. One could do without them. Developer FlippFly dip their toes into Terry Cavanagh’s pool of holistic purity and simplicity (Super Hexagon, VVVVVV), yet decide to instead wade within the familiar convention that is gaining capital. Jumping being an unlockable reward is almost comical. Unobtrusive, sure, but unneeded.

Rush.

The glow of the sun.

Crash.

A shot of adrenaline.

Repeat

Welcome back.

Rush.

The flow of time.

Crash.

An impact.

Repeat.

New beginnings.

Rush.

Crash.

Rush.

Rush.

Success.

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