Speed Forge screen

The App Store's low-grav racing space certainly is starting to get crowded, which is just fine by me. And it looks like the latest release to join the ranks, Speed Forge Extreme [App Store] from Rat Square / Chillingo, may just be the best of the lot.

It’s 2142, and the colonization of Mars is underway. Vast settlements have been created to house miners seeking the valuable raw materials of the Red Planet. Crime is rampant, time is abundant and the citizens are looking for some entertainment ...

The mining gig on 22nd-century Mars must be a rather fruitful one, considering how much raw materials would be needed to construct a large-scale racing arena made up of 12 futuristic racing tracks. But then, the miners, just like iPhone gamers, need their entertainment. And Speed Forge Extreme delivers.

another speed forge screenWhile Speed Forge largely follows the standard Wipeout-inspired racing formula, it does add in a bit of a twist. To start, most of the game's 12 tracks deliver the typical low-grav racer experience. Choose from among six different craft (unlocked along the way) in a race against five computer-controlled opponents in a bid to cross the finish line first. Along the way, you can pick up power-ups such as weapons to knock out opponents, shields, and repair kits and make use of speed-pads (while avoiding slow-pads) to help get the job done. In addition to these traditional tracks, Speed Forge includes various arena levels where you and your opponents are placed in a large enclosed space smattered with power-ups, in an effort to destroy the most opponents as fast as possible to come out on top. It's a nice variation on the formula that helps break up long race sessions. It's a nice mix.

The game features five different control configurations utilizing different combinations of accelerometer, D-pad, and slider controls, some featuring auto-acceleration. I was able to enjoy the game playing with each method, but favor the tilt-controls. It shouldn't be hard to find a configuration you're happy with. Invert-Y and vibration effects are toggles.

See Motion-Blur ComparisonSpeed Forge is quite impressive, visually. The interesting ship designs, track architecture, and dark Earth- Mars-tone palette lend a very nice atmosphere to the game. (The visuals and overall feel of the motion puts me in mind of UBI Soft's late '90s racer POD - Planet of Death.) But where the game's graphics really shine are on the iPhone 3GS and 3G iPod touch, where the developers were able to take advantage of OpenGL ES 2.0 to deliver a full-screen motion-blur effect that makes for some of the best looking polygons ever seen on an iPhone screen. Unfortunately, such eye candy doesn't come without a price; the framerate of the game running with motion-blur enabled on my iPhone 3GS feels lower than that of the game running (without motion-blur) on my 2G iPod touch. Happily, the developers allow users to disable the motion-blur effect as well as set its intensity on the latest devices -- and Speed Forge running without the effect on my 3GS is as smooth as silk. All that said, the game still looks great on older devices -- don't get me wrong. But, for the record, I prefer playing with motion-blur on despite the framerate impact -- it's just too lovely to miss.

An optional 'Overbright' display toggle, available on devices old and new, delivers magnified lighting blooms that give the game a stronger HDR-lighting feel at little or no cost to the framerate.


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

Having spent considerable time with the v1.1 release (a recent update), I can confidently call Speed Forge Extreme my current favorite futuristic racer in the App Store. The camera angle, the well done tracks, the visual effects, the excellent sense of speed -- they all come together to deliver what really does feel like a "console" title on the iPhone. I do wish that the developers had opted to add-in online leaderboards and, perhaps even, multiplayer support to really take things to the next level but, lacking these, it's still a great single-player racing experience. I'd urge everyone to at least have a look at the free, lite version [App Store].

App Store link: Speed Forge Extreme, $2.99, Speed Forge Extreme Lite, Free

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Mohammed

    I am absolutely loving these "console" type games on the ipod. Need for speed and tom clancy hawx are awesome. I think I'll definetely give speed forge a try with the lite version and see how it is.

  • Mohammed

    I am absolutely loving these "console" type games on the ipod. Need for speed and tom clancy hawx are awesome. I think I'll definetely give speed forge a try with the lite version and see how it is.

  • tonyunreal

    Speed Forge Extreme is amazing, this is the first time I could remember that a developer didn't screw up the motion blur thing, the game looks great on my 3rd gen ipod touch. Although far from a perfect Wipeout clone, I would still rate Speed Forge to be the best game of this genre in the app store.

  • tonyunreal

    Speed Forge Extreme is amazing, this is the first time I could remember that a developer didn't screw up the motion blur thing, the game looks great on my 3rd gen ipod touch. Although far from a perfect Wipeout clone, I would still rate Speed Forge to be the best game of this genre in the app store.

  • Lukeb

    I avoided Speed Forge after reading that the ships' movements are coarser and more pod-like than those in Low Grav Racer 2, but after reading this good review of Speed Forge, I may try the lite version.

    • MrMuesli

      It's true though. The ship is very static in comparison to Low Grav 2.
      Having said that, I prefer that not everything is unlocked from the start. I also think the Arena levels rock: )

  • Lukeb

    I avoided Speed Forge after reading that the ships' movements are coarser and more pod-like than those in Low Grav Racer 2, but after reading this good review of Speed Forge, I may try the lite version.

    • MrMuesli

      It's true though. The ship is very static in comparison to Low Grav 2.
      Having said that, I prefer that not everything is unlocked from the start. I also think the Arena levels rock: )

  • Lum the Invader

    I've only played the lite of this one, but as a veteran of several Wipeout games, including Wipeout Pulse on the PSP, this feels pretty cheap and uninspiring. The handling seems wooden, the presentation basic, and it just lacks any sparkle. Devs need only look back to F-Zero on the SNES to see how to do this kind of game to perfection.

    • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

      This! I'll stick to the real thing...I'm getting tired of lifeless clones.

      • Tower_Defender

        Right, I'll go buy wipeout for the itouch right now. ... oh wait.

  • Lum the Invader

    I've only played the lite of this one, but as a veteran of several Wipeout games, including Wipeout Pulse on the PSP, this feels pretty cheap and uninspiring. The handling seems wooden, the presentation basic, and it just lacks any sparkle. Devs need only look back to F-Zero on the SNES to see how to do this kind of game to perfection.

    • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

      This! I'll stick to the real thing...I'm getting tired of lifeless clones.

      • Tower_Defender

        Right, I'll go buy wipeout for the itouch right now. ... oh wait.

  • Deewin

    Hmmm. I played one lap of this game when it first came out and didn't think it was an impressive or even decent racer. It felt kind of bland and boring but I might have to try it again with the update. This game does remind me of POD though, but not in a good way.

  • Deewin

    Hmmm. I played one lap of this game when it first came out and didn't think it was an impressive or even decent racer. It felt kind of bland and boring but I might have to try it again with the update. This game does remind me of POD though, but not in a good way.

  • david

    Well atleast Android can say it had it before the iPhone...still better on my ipod touch then droid

  • david

    Well atleast Android can say it had it before the iPhone...still better on my ipod touch then droid

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl Martin

    Well, Android version of Speed Forge is incomparable to this one. I have played both and I fully understand why this one is called Speed Forge Extreme...

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl Martin

    Well, Android version of Speed Forge is incomparable to this one. I have played both and I fully understand why this one is called Speed Forge Extreme...

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    Hi,

    We are working on a new update with leaderboards and mini-map. It should be ready soon. We are planing to implement local multiplayer via bluetooth after that. Thank you all your comments.

    Cheers,
    DummyBoy

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    Hi,

    We are working on a new update with leaderboards and mini-map. It should be ready soon. We are planing to implement local multiplayer via bluetooth after that. Thank you all your comments.

    Cheers,
    DummyBoy

  • CassieTheChaoticCupcake

    When I first saw this article, I was sure that Chillingo was just trying to rip off another developer's game. The first thing that came to mind was Low Grav Racer 2, which, despite the hard-to-master controls, I am a fan of. I WAS going to leave a comment regarding my original thoughts, but I knew that wouldn't be fair, so I downloaded the lite version of Speed Forge Extreme.
    I instantly saw a difference! The graphics have been bumped up tenfold and the hover-craft is so much easier to handle. I no longer find myself crashing into walls (when I can help it!) and the power-ups are easier to attain.
    The only thing I have to complain about is that I didn't really feel a challenge. In LGR 2, I kept coming back in order to better myself and place with a lower lap-time. I didn't always end up in second place. In fact, I don't think I've ever ended up in first place yet! When I gained the lead in SFE in the first lap and left my opponents behind in the dust, it lost its sense of competition and I felt like it was just a game made for cruising around a course.
    Everything else set aside, I'm considering replacing my Low Grav Racer 2 with this game of similarity, Speed Forge Extreme. As always, don't judge an app 'til you try it. I highly recommend you try this one. :) You'll love it!

  • CassieTheChaoticCupcake

    When I first saw this article, I was sure that Chillingo was just trying to rip off another developer's game. The first thing that came to mind was Low Grav Racer 2, which, despite the hard-to-master controls, I am a fan of. I WAS going to leave a comment regarding my original thoughts, but I knew that wouldn't be fair, so I downloaded the lite version of Speed Forge Extreme.
    I instantly saw a difference! The graphics have been bumped up tenfold and the hover-craft is so much easier to handle. I no longer find myself crashing into walls (when I can help it!) and the power-ups are easier to attain.
    The only thing I have to complain about is that I didn't really feel a challenge. In LGR 2, I kept coming back in order to better myself and place with a lower lap-time. I didn't always end up in second place. In fact, I don't think I've ever ended up in first place yet! When I gained the lead in SFE in the first lap and left my opponents behind in the dust, it lost its sense of competition and I felt like it was just a game made for cruising around a course.
    Everything else set aside, I'm considering replacing my Low Grav Racer 2 with this game of similarity, Speed Forge Extreme. As always, don't judge an app 'til you try it. I highly recommend you try this one. :) You'll love it!

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    Thx! Did you try it on hard? :)

    • CassieTheChaoticCupcake

      DummyBoy, no. I tried it on normal. I do say though, that my initial experience wasn't as I had expected for a "futuristic" race-track. As in LGR 2, when the ship turns, there is a deficit of gravity (as the title of the game states), which causes the ship to drift crash into the sides a lot. It's supposed to happen and you'll see it a lot in their trailers. However, in SFE, the craft handles like a car on the road rather than a hovering ship on mars, which is known to have little to no levels of gravity. Maybe being overly analytical docked points for me. I try to enjoy just the concept of it! :)

      • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

        Well, our physics simulation has nothing to do with a car physics. We have a thrust, thrust attachment point, few aerodynamic parameters, mass and we do simulate gravity ant antigravity forces. Ship is not attached to the background. It shouldn't like a car :)

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    Thx! Did you try it on hard? :)

    • CassieTheChaoticCupcake

      DummyBoy, no. I tried it on normal. I do say though, that my initial experience wasn't as I had expected for a "futuristic" race-track. As in LGR 2, when the ship turns, there is a deficit of gravity (as the title of the game states), which causes the ship to drift crash into the sides a lot. It's supposed to happen and you'll see it a lot in their trailers. However, in SFE, the craft handles like a car on the road rather than a hovering ship on mars, which is known to have little to no levels of gravity. Maybe being overly analytical docked points for me. I try to enjoy just the concept of it! :)

      • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

        Well, our physics simulation has nothing to do with a car physics. We have a thrust, thrust attachment point, few aerodynamic parameters, mass and we do simulate gravity ant antigravity forces. Ship is not attached to the background. It shouldn't like a car :)

  • Septimus

    Sorry, but not that good especially against its peers on other platforms. The controls let it down for me, just can't get a comfortable balance of responsiveness/sensitivity.

  • Septimus

    Sorry, but not that good especially against its peers on other platforms. The controls let it down for me, just can't get a comfortable balance of responsiveness/sensitivity.

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    The controls may take some time to get used to. Steering is purely physics driven, so there is some inertia, air resistance and some other aerodynamic parameters, guess it may not fit everyone... I can only say that it is not that fair to directly compare console games that cost 10-20 times more to 2.99$ iphone game.

    • MrMuesli

      Is there any chance you can improve the ship maneuverability? When the ship turns in LGR 2, the wing of the ship lifts right up, and by braking simultaneously, the back end comes around as well. The maneuverability is very good indeed.
      I don't expect a Wipeout Pulse, but it would be great if you could manage it somehow: )

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    The controls may take some time to get used to. Steering is purely physics driven, so there is some inertia, air resistance and some other aerodynamic parameters, guess it may not fit everyone... I can only say that it is not that fair to directly compare console games that cost 10-20 times more to 2.99$ iphone game.

    • MrMuesli

      Is there any chance you can improve the ship maneuverability? When the ship turns in LGR 2, the wing of the ship lifts right up, and by braking simultaneously, the back end comes around as well. The maneuverability is very good indeed.
      I don't expect a Wipeout Pulse, but it would be great if you could manage it somehow: )

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    As I wrote it is physic based, different ships have different physical parameters and will drive differently. If you take very sharp turn you will notice that your ship is slowing down a bit. It is even possible to do 180 deg. turn and stop completely.

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    As I wrote it is physic based, different ships have different physical parameters and will drive differently. If you take very sharp turn you will notice that your ship is slowing down a bit. It is even possible to do 180 deg. turn and stop completely.

  • Pundit

    Gave the lite version a go, and I have to say it matched my expectations precisely. Unfortunately that is. The frame rate just isn't there, and neither is the fun. I wish the developers had dropped some of the eye-candy in favor of good gaming experience.

    (3GS)

  • Pundit

    Gave the lite version a go, and I have to say it matched my expectations precisely. Unfortunately that is. The frame rate just isn't there, and neither is the fun. I wish the developers had dropped some of the eye-candy in favor of good gaming experience.

    (3GS)

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    You can turn off motion blur to gain a lot of fps. Did you try that?

    • Pundit

      I have to say turning off motion blur really amps up the experience. Now my biggest grudge is the collision physics. :)

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    You can turn off motion blur to gain a lot of fps. Did you try that?

    • Pundit

      I have to say turning off motion blur really amps up the experience. Now my biggest grudge is the collision physics. :)

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    Also please remember to restart your phone after installing the game.

  • http://www.speedforge.ratsquare.pl DummyBoy

    Also please remember to restart your phone after installing the game.

  • dumas1000

    I can understand locking tracks and ships in the beginning, but it was a mistake in my opinion to lock power-ups. It shouldn't take 7-8 races to unlock the shield. For several races before that shield unlocks you are left defenseless when you are in the led. Ships behind you have missiles and cannons, while, without at the very least the shield, you have no way in which to counteract them.

    It seems as if career mode consists of one race on each track and that's it. Very straight forward and basic. So basic, in fact, that it's hard to even consider a career mode at all, really. More events, more modes, more variety, even without adding additional tracks, would help a lot here with the replayability factor. Cups, tournaments, circuits, something.

  • dumas1000

    I can understand locking tracks and ships in the beginning, but it was a mistake in my opinion to lock power-ups. It shouldn't take 7-8 races to unlock the shield. For several races before that shield unlocks you are left defenseless when you are in the led. Ships behind you have missiles and cannons, while, without at the very least the shield, you have no way in which to counteract them.

    It seems as if career mode consists of one race on each track and that's it. Very straight forward and basic. So basic, in fact, that it's hard to even consider a career mode at all, really. More events, more modes, more variety, even without adding additional tracks, would help a lot here with the replayability factor. Cups, tournaments, circuits, something.

  • http://www.bitwiseops.com/AmazingTips AmazingTips

    Great game - I found the controls very responsive and there is no Lag whatsoever on my 3G - I did not even reboot...I wish I had blur going on...

    If you find it too easy, then play on hard - I found this game not being frustrating at all and I wish this was the case for most of the games I end up buying.

    Cheers

  • http://www.bitwiseops.com/AmazingTips AmazingTips

    Great game - I found the controls very responsive and there is no Lag whatsoever on my 3G - I did not even reboot...I wish I had blur going on...

    If you find it too easy, then play on hard - I found this game not being frustrating at all and I wish this was the case for most of the games I end up buying.

    Cheers

  • Anaslex

    There is a reason why WipeOut is very bright and colorful. When you are racing 500mph, it is important to have visual cues of the turns.
    This game is very dark, and almost everything is in a similar hue, making it difficult to see the track.

  • Anaslex

    There is a reason why WipeOut is very bright and colorful. When you are racing 500mph, it is important to have visual cues of the turns.
    This game is very dark, and almost everything is in a similar hue, making it difficult to see the track.

  • jonny30bass

    This game looks like that one star wars racing game for the n64. Which is a good thing cuz i loved that game. I'm gonna have to get this game.

  • jonny30bass

    This game looks like that one star wars racing game for the n64. Which is a good thing cuz i loved that game. I'm gonna have to get this game.

  • Mohammed

    Okay I bought it now, and I am enjoying it.

    Good game, decent graphics and smooth controls.

  • Mohammed

    Okay I bought it now, and I am enjoying it.

    Good game, decent graphics and smooth controls.

  • gvgvrwhrweher

    Very fun game..

  • gvgvrwhrweher

    Very fun game..

  • Gamer

    Very Good game!Nice conrrols and FANTASTIC graphics!

  • Gamer

    Very Good game!Nice conrrols and FANTASTIC graphics!

  • wateracid

    Just bought it played a few tracks and i am loving it! Played the 1st arena and omg this rox! But it is a little hard though even on easy mode , oh well maybe it is just me.

  • wateracid

    Just bought it played a few tracks and i am loving it! Played the 1st arena and omg this rox! But it is a little hard though even on easy mode , oh well maybe it is just me.

  • KLH

    For $3, its a fine game.

  • KLH

    For $3, its a fine game.