Game Reviews

Flashout 3D

Star onStar onStar onStar offStar off
| Flashout 3D
Flashout 3D
| Flashout 3D

Although it borrowed elements from Super Mario Kart and Powerdrome, Psygnosis's WipEout was nevertheless a milestone for the racing genre, combining incredible speed with oh-so-trendy presentation to create a game-changing speed-fest.

Its creator is sadly now defunct, but WipEout continues to exert a tremendous amount of influence on futuristic racers - as Flashout 3D proves.

To all intents and purposes, this is essentially a rather shameless iOS clone of WipEout. The craft all look similar, the power-ups are pretty much the same, and the savvy combination of eye-catching visuals and a pumping techno soundtrack ensures that you'll be thinking of the classic PlayStation title as you complete each lap.

Gravity sucks

Set across a variety of courses, Flashout 3D includes a Career mode that allows you to earn cash in order to buy new ships and upgrades in your garage.

Each race is contested with four other pilots, and you all have access to special items such as speed boosts and shields, as well as offensive weaponry that you can enhance in the garage.

Games of this kind need to nail the sensation of speed in order to be successful, and Flashout 3D certainly does that. When you play for the first time it's a real challenge just to keep your craft on the correct path, but within a few laps you'll learn where to position the ship in order to achieve that perfect racing line.

Flash dance

The game's biggest problem is that once you've become accustomed to its controls and breakneck speed, the difficulty levels-out dramatically.

Races aren't particularly exciting, either, because with only four other ships on the course at any one time, it's quite common to complete an event without seeing anything of your rivals. With the scope for tight, competitive racing out of the window, Flashout 3D is reduced to little more than a time-attack game.

There's hope on the horizon - the multiplayer mode is coming soon according to the developer, and this could lend Flashout 3D a renewed appeal.

However, at the moment it's just not compelling enough to challenge WipEout for the anti-gravity racing crown. While it most certainly has the looks and the pace, it's curiously lacking in thrills.

Flashout 3D

The iPhone finally gets its own WipEout, but the puzzling absence of pure racing excitement makes this a tricky one to recommend.
Damien  McFerran
Damien McFerran
Damien's mum hoped he would grow out of playing silly video games and gain respectable employment. Perhaps become a teacher or a scientist, that kind of thing. Needless to say she now weeps openly whenever anyone asks how her son's getting on these days.