Pixel Boat Rush is a game of skill, explosions, and radical combat racing coming to iOS this October
Android version lands shortly after
The air is your enemy in Pixel Boat Rush. I found this out the hard way: by exploding.
This arcade combat racer is the next game from XperimentalZ Games. That's the studio behind the Silver Award-winning endless platformer Platforms United.
Everything that we said in our review of Platforms United applies to Pixel Boat Rush. So, yes, it has "deft controls", and is one of the "freshest" racing games I've played in a while.
That seems like a strange thing to say given that it hearkens back to the combat racers of yore. Consider it proof of how well XperimentalZ has modernized the genre for touchscreen, then.
The game starts with no holds barred, launching you straight into a race without introducing the controls. The idea is that you'll screw up and, yep, explode just as I did.
You play the role of a racer that was involved in a super explosion and disappeared for a while. Hence, when you return, you have to work through racing licenses.
Obtaining licenses works just as it does in the Gran Turismo series. You complete a number of skill-based missions, then.
Once you've got your license, you can then compete in events that are suited to it. You'll need to earn new licenses to enter the harder, more rewarding events.
With my amateur license obtained, I quickly found out that races are won by careful use of the "brake" - boats don't have brakes, but they do here. You apply the brake by letting go of the screen (holding on to it accelerates).
The best way to get speed is to let go just as you hit the top of a large wave, or the bottom of a dipping one. This way, you don't get flung into the air and lose your speed. Or, um, explode.
It's simple but it really brings in some skill to the one-touch driving.
Of course, tougher tracks require that you leap into the air in order to jump over rocks - you let go in the air to drop quicker - so it's far from easy.
Oh, and let's not forget that you start shooting each other with bullets and rockets, too. Yeah, that's going to be a lot of chaotic fun.
I've really enjoyed the little time I've had with Pixel Boat Rush so far, though. It has the look of an NES game and a fantastic marimba soundtrack to get you in the racing spirit.
Pixel Boat Rush will be coming to iOS in October, so pretty soon, then. It will also come to Android a little after its initial release.
You can find more information about Pixel Boat Rush on its website.