Flight games are a rare breed on DSiWare. There’s Thorium Wars and, uh, we suppose Paper Plane, and now QubicGames has entered the not-so-crowded field with the neat AiRace: Tunnel.
It’s more Paper Plane than Thorium Wars since the focus is on navigating an obstacle course/tunnel as far as you can instead of smithereen-blowing. There are five set courses to take your jet down, each of varying difficulty and length, and an Endless stage that puts you in control of what appears to be a neon green Imperial shuttle and cranks up the difficulty until your pilot loses all will to live.
The static and lacklustre menu system does very little to instil hope in the game’s production values, but once you’re locked into that first tunnel you see that QubicGames managed to pull off some very nice 3D. Yeah, the game is set in a tunnel and doesn’t have to render much in the way of detailed models, but ships look good and the tunnels are colourful. The music is kind of catchy too, in a “hey ma, I’m flying really fast down a tunnel!” way.
Control comes down to banking and steering, with no way to alter your speed. Steering your craft is done through either using the stylus in a joystick-like fashion or entirely button-based. The latter is much easier for precision flight as the touch method gets a little wonky at times.
High scores are saved in an odd way in Endless: instead of marking your precise distance it settles for what stage you made it to. It’s like if Tetris ignored your score and only tracked how many total lines you’ve cleared. Since Endless is the part you’re likely to get the most mileage out of, it’s disappointing that the score tracking is so ham-fisted. For the five stages it'll track exactly how far you made it before losing all of your planes, but once you complete them you'll get your 100% and the score is somewhat meaningless. You beat it, yay.
AiRace: Tunnel a nice little diversion at 200 Points, even if there are some puzzling choices with regards to score tracking. Sharp visuals, “one-more-go” gameplay and a welcome endless mode make it a fun way to spend your time and pennies.
hooray....now I'll wait for the 800 point air race review before I consider on downloading one of these titles....
good review, i liked the game
Im gettin this one alongside Escapee GO! and Dark Void Zero. I hope they will be released in the EU tonight ^^
I prefer the touchscreen controls; enough, in fact, to lazily quote myself from the forum thread: "Analogous to the wheel in Mario Kart Wii, it makes the game less a matter of constant small tap-adjustments and more a matter of careful, smooth guiding. It's more difficult at first, but gives you the feeling of greater control once you get the hang of it."
Great review Jon. Yet another DSiWare title on my "to buy" list.
Love your short reviews, honestly.
Just bought it, pretty good so far.
Good review. Since I liked Paper Airplane Chase, I'll probably pick this up. I was just waiting for reviews because the price made me wonder if this was going to be terrible .
"You beat it, yay."
I'd give it an 8 and I hope that AiRace will deliver something much bigger. Good Job (both review and the game)!
I actually thought most people cared more about how many lines they could get rather than the score in Tetris no?
I bought it, i'd give the same score.
Cheers for the revw. most likely an insta-download if it comes to EU
I got this game, cool and very challenging game!
I got it, and it's super fun. Great for only two bucks. It also has me buying the full AiRace the day it comes out.
Looks like an impressive amount of content and graphics for a 200 point DSiWare game. The screenshots sort of remind me of Sewershark (only with better graphics).
I think I'll get this...or Paper Airplane Chase. I dunno. Whichever!
I got this and it is really a great game. The graphics are great, the music is great and it is fun! It is hard enough to keep you from zooming through it, (I am still only at Tunnel Gamma) it is not too hard so you cannot play, (my friends can pick it up and play it like that.) and it is only 200 points! This is the best game I have downloaded yet. Only thing is that as the planes change through levels, they have worse control. I would buy it.
Should I get this or Escape Go? (Or Both?)
This game is fun and I just beat Tunnels. I first thought "Get Airace for 800 but I thought slowly about it and said to myself "No" I'm sorta getting off topic. (You know because after playing ver 1 you want ver 2 ASAP) I do agree with everything NL said, even the tetris part. I couldn't had said it any better. 7/10 is the right mark
I have had this for a long time and I still love playing it. I give it a 9 out of 10, especially for it's price. That's just my opinion though. I have never had any issues with the touch controls, in fact, I love how precise they feel.
Awesome game; I find myself playing it a lot. Perhaps it's time to get the full(AiRace) version?
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