Orion Racer [App Store] from Techlogica is a futuristic racing game that draws influences from the classic F-Zero and Wipeout franchises. It features crisp visuals, a silky smooth framerate, and a tremendous sense of speed.  While it lacks the robustness of some games, it makes up for it with it's focus on a pure racing experience.

The inspiration in this game is obvious from the initial boot up. The hovering vehicles, the sound of the thrusters, the overhead camera that slowly pans down behind the racers before the start. The soul of F-Zero is definitely present here -- and it's a good thing. Each of the four vehicles available in the game have a distinctive feel from one another, and you get a different experience using each one. The tracks are nicely designed, featuring twists and turns reminiscent of Wipeout, that only get more maniacal the deeper you advance in the game. There are no weapons, jumps, hazards, or damage of any kind. Hitting the rails merely slows you down, and you cannot fly off the edge. It's an experience that's stripped down to the core -- just you versus the track with the competition breathing down your neck -- but it manages to be a whole lot of fun in it's simplicity.

The main campaign in Orion Racer is a tournament that has you racing through the 10 available tracks in succession. Placing 1st in the tournament unlocks the fourth vehicle, and placing 3rd or better unlocks the final track for play in the additional single race, time trial and two-player Bluetooth modes. (The first nine tracks and three cars are unlocked from the start.)  The time trials have online leaderboards and the ability to watch replays of the top 25 fastest laps for each track, lending a decent amount of replay value to the game. There are also sliders in the options screen to adjust AI difficulty, brake assist, and tilt sensitivity. You can really tailor the game to your liking, although steering is a tilt-only affair (no option for touch).

While it doesn't sound like a whole lot on paper, Orion Racer really stands out in terms of actual gamplay. The sense of speed is exhilarating, most likely due to the omission of any real graphical bells and whistles. It's still quite visually appealing though, and moves at an incredible clip. Tacks are intelligently designed and are a thrill to play through, delivering a feeling somewhat akin to riding a rollercoaster. It reminds us of why we played games like F-Zero in the first place -- it looked great, played fast, and controlled just about perfectly. Orion Racer succeeds in all of these areas, and while some additions could certainly add to the game, what's here is a fun package that's worth taking a look at for fans of racing games.

App Store Link: Orion Racer, $2.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Brandon

    Looks cool. If it had bluetooth multiplayer I would definatley buy.

  • Brandon

    Looks cool. If it had bluetooth multiplayer I would definatley buy.

  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Hi everyone, this is Andy Haugh from Techlogica (Orion Racer developer!)

    To TouchArcade: Thanks for the great review of our new game!

    To everyone else: We have a big update to the game which should be live by next week! So if you like the current version of Orion Racer you will love the next one :) More challenging AI, improved vehicle handling (L400 & F97) and lots of other tweaks!

  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Hi everyone, this is Andy Haugh from Techlogica (Orion Racer developer!)

    To TouchArcade: Thanks for the great review of our new game!

    To everyone else: We have a big update to the game which should be live by next week! So if you like the current version of Orion Racer you will love the next one :) More challenging AI, improved vehicle handling (L400 & F97) and lots of other tweaks!

  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Brandon,

    It does have 2 player Bluetooth multiplayer!

  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Brandon,

    It does have 2 player Bluetooth multiplayer!

  • Moleyman69

    Whoever's demoing the game on the video isn't very good :D

    Looks pretty cool though.

    • Adams Immersive

      He drives like me :)

      Sometimes I even drive that way in games, too!

  • Moleyman69

    Whoever's demoing the game on the video isn't very good :D

    Looks pretty cool though.

    • Adams Immersive

      He drives like me :)

      Sometimes I even drive that way in games, too!

  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Yeah, that was made by a fan (CoNSpIrACyThEoRyS), and apparently it is pretty hard to play & hold it steady for a camera at the same time :)

    We made a few vids but weren't happy with the video quality, so we were going to remake them after the next update is released .... I hope people won't mind that we have been spending our time working on an update instead of making videos! :)

    Anyway, the same guy made a video of some really good Time Trial runs, you can view them here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWDWCJIgoBs&feature=channel

  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Yeah, that was made by a fan (CoNSpIrACyThEoRyS), and apparently it is pretty hard to play & hold it steady for a camera at the same time :)

    We made a few vids but weren't happy with the video quality, so we were going to remake them after the next update is released .... I hope people won't mind that we have been spending our time working on an update instead of making videos! :)

    Anyway, the same guy made a video of some really good Time Trial runs, you can view them here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWDWCJIgoBs&feature=channel

  • Jake

    I don't understand why devs think people want to steer racing games by hopelessly flailing around their iphones. Every racing game with tilt controls I play ends up getting deleted.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Because you're in the minority?

    • Rudi

      Why dont the developers let the people choose, how to control the games.
      I prefer touch controls. Can you imagine, how long you can play tilt control games with the ipad? Your arms will hurt after a few minutes.
      I never buy games with only tilt control.
      Don´t the devs want to sell their games?

      • EatKodosDaily

        Companies that try to make money (*coughEAcough*) make crappy games. Companies that try to make good games, make good games.

        A good game will not be compromising. It is a single minded view and it will not be released until it is perfectly aligned with the view.

        IF THE DEV SAYS TILT ONLY, IT'S TILT ONLY. SUCK IT UP.

      • James

        If this had touch controls aswell as tilt id defiantly buy it....

    • Dave Bowman

      I totally agree.

  • Brady

    Great game! Been playing it since the release!

  • Jake

    I don't understand why devs think people want to steer racing games by hopelessly flailing around their iphones. Every racing game with tilt controls I play ends up getting deleted.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Because you're in the minority?

    • Rudi

      Why dont the developers let the people choose, how to control the games.
      I prefer touch controls. Can you imagine, how long you can play tilt control games with the ipad? Your arms will hurt after a few minutes.
      I never buy games with only tilt control.
      Don´t the devs want to sell their games?

      • EatKodosDaily

        Companies that try to make money (*coughEAcough*) make crappy games. Companies that try to make good games, make good games.

        A good game will not be compromising. It is a single minded view and it will not be released until it is perfectly aligned with the view.

        IF THE DEV SAYS TILT ONLY, IT'S TILT ONLY. SUCK IT UP.

      • James

        If this had touch controls aswell as tilt id defiantly buy it....

    • Dave Bowman

      I totally agree.

  • Brady

    Great game! Been playing it since the release!

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    Somehow the video seems rather boring to me.
    I guess, I stick with Snail Mail :)
    But good luck to the devs.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    Somehow the video seems rather boring to me.
    I guess, I stick with Snail Mail :)
    But good luck to the devs.

  • Axl Lowe

    @Jake: Then why do you keep buying them? :p

    I personally like this game a lot. It's very smooth and being able to download and view the replays for top times is really neat. I often felt like some tracks were really hard, but the replays show that there are definitely ways to zip around the tracks very skillfully.

    Oh, and I should mention. The game has blazing fast load times. Great for picking it up and playing a race or two. :D

  • Axl Lowe

    @Jake: Then why do you keep buying them? :p

    I personally like this game a lot. It's very smooth and being able to download and view the replays for top times is really neat. I often felt like some tracks were really hard, but the replays show that there are definitely ways to zip around the tracks very skillfully.

    Oh, and I should mention. The game has blazing fast load times. Great for picking it up and playing a race or two. :D

  • ra88it

    Any Ground Effect fans out there able to make a comparison?

    • Axl Lowe

      It's MUCH faster than Ground Effect. That's about the only comparison you can make, since the style of racing is a bit different between the two games. There are no gates in Orion Racer and you race across twisty turny loop-de-loopy tracks in Orion Racer, which you don't do in Ground Effect. I'd say that if you feel Ground Effect was too slow or too easy, give Orion Racer a try. It's more challenging, but can be tailored to your own skill level. Braking assist is your friend.

      • ra88it

        I adore Ground Effect. Looking forward to checking Orion Racer out when I get home tonight.

  • ra88it

    Any Ground Effect fans out there able to make a comparison?

    • Axl Lowe

      It's MUCH faster than Ground Effect. That's about the only comparison you can make, since the style of racing is a bit different between the two games. There are no gates in Orion Racer and you race across twisty turny loop-de-loopy tracks in Orion Racer, which you don't do in Ground Effect. I'd say that if you feel Ground Effect was too slow or too easy, give Orion Racer a try. It's more challenging, but can be tailored to your own skill level. Braking assist is your friend.

      • ra88it

        I adore Ground Effect. Looking forward to checking Orion Racer out when I get home tonight.

  • br!an

    Awesome video! My favorite part was the 50 seconds of menus at the beginning.

    But all sarcasm aside, the game looks fun.

  • br!an

    Awesome video! My favorite part was the 50 seconds of menus at the beginning.

    But all sarcasm aside, the game looks fun.

  • Matt

    I misread that as Onion Racer... which I think has potential as a concept.

  • EatKodosDaily

    The video is very appealing with silky smooth racing. But with no risk of dying, I'm worried I'll find the game boring. So for the moment, the $3 will remain in my pocket.

  • Matt

    I misread that as Onion Racer... which I think has potential as a concept.

  • EatKodosDaily

    The video is very appealing with silky smooth racing. But with no risk of dying, I'm worried I'll find the game boring. So for the moment, the $3 will remain in my pocket.

  • dumas1000

    If you can't control accelometer based racing games, then, more times than not, perhaps you just lack a fundimental understanding of proper braking or the notion of the optimal speed required for successfully navigating a turn. I've purchased a dozen accelometer based racing games, minimal, and only a very small handful of them were either unresponsive or too sensitative to control. And most of those borderline broken games were made by Gameloft. And a few more, like the Fast and Furious game, Fastlane, and Ridge Racer, controlled well but were made difficult because of either a poor drifting machanic or a drifting machanic that required an exceptionally steep learning curve. The majority of them have no issues though.

    Again, it's just bad timing for smaller devs to be releasing games right now. Another day, another price and I might have been hooked.

  • dumas1000

    If you can't control accelometer based racing games, then, more times than not, perhaps you just lack a fundimental understanding of proper braking or the notion of the optimal speed required for successfully navigating a turn. I've purchased a dozen accelometer based racing games, minimal, and only a very small handful of them were either unresponsive or too sensitative to control. And most of those borderline broken games were made by Gameloft. And a few more, like the Fast and Furious game, Fastlane, and Ridge Racer, controlled well but were made difficult because of either a poor drifting machanic or a drifting machanic that required an exceptionally steep learning curve. The majority of them have no issues though.

    Again, it's just bad timing for smaller devs to be releasing games right now. Another day, another price and I might have been hooked.

  • TKO

    Looks cool! I don't need to see any more - I love everything wipeout-like. Clicking buy. :D

  • TKO

    Looks cool! I don't need to see any more - I love everything wipeout-like. Clicking buy. :D

  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Version 1.0.1 has been released, I hope you all will take a look! :) The AI is much improved.

  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Version 1.0.1 has been released, I hope you all will take a look! :) The AI is much improved.

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  • http://www.reducestressnow.org Nicola

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  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Orion Racer is currently on sale for only $0.99! You can try out the Lite version first if you're still not sure if you want to "take the plunge". :)

  • http://games.techlogica.us/orion/ Techlogica

    Orion Racer is currently on sale for only $0.99! You can try out the Lite version first if you're still not sure if you want to "take the plunge". :)