Just as nature abhors a vacuum so each piece of gaming hardware requires a version of futuristic hover racer WipeOut. And the good thing for independent publishers and developers is that with Sony limiting official versions to Sony consoles, non-Sony consoles are ripe for exploitation.
In fact, things are even better on iPhone and iPod touch, with their in-built accelerometer perfect to provide the somewhat floating tilt control you'd expect from the game. Enter CobraMobile's Low Grav Racer.
We recently got a brief hands-on with the game, which is currently in the final stages of development. The basic set up is a choice of ship class before you find yourself dashing around various themed tracks, picking up power-ups such as boost, weapons and shields as you go. But the combat is always about ensuring you're first over the finishing line.
Our initial impression of the game is that the tilt control provides a good, solid feel, although you have to get to know the tracks to have much hope of winning. As with the original WipeOut, crashing into the sides of the track really slows you down.
In terms of additional control, you have a touchscreen airbrake on the left to provide a quicker method of cornering, while tapping the button on the right side of the screen will fire any weapons you've picked up. Acceleration is automatically always on.
The version of the game we played offered three classes of vehicles and six tracks, although it's expected there will be nine tracks in the final game. These include examples with large animated trackside objects, which look quite impressive as you whizz between them.
One part of the game still being tweaked is the opponent ships' artificial intelligence. This is to ensure that they race in a believable manner, but also that they don't rush off too far ahead of you if you crash. This 'elastic banding' means that you should always have someone to race against, no matter how good you are at the game. The user interface is also receiving some last minute polish.
Expected to launch around the $5 mark, it looks like it will admirably fill a gap in iPhone's game library for a speedy 3D hover racer when it's released, sometime towards the end of November.