What do you get when you cross the 1970s, a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and muscle cars? You get Mad Max, but you also get Race After 1977, an upcoming racing game for iOS that really lets you taste the radioactive dust.
Unlike bright and shiny racing games like Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and Asphalt 6, Race After 1977 feels dirty. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, after a nuclear war ravaged the world back in ’77. You join a team of nomads racing to find the last habitable place on Earth. The winner of a series of races will be given GPS coordinates for this rumored paradise.
In Race After 1977, the tracks are all marked by destruction and decay. On the second track, a huge bridge is blown apart in the middle, so you have to hit a jump just right to make it over. There’s also a sports arena with a blasted-open roof, and a series of levels set in a nuclear winter.
Besides the unique look of the game, Race After 1977 also feels different to play. Because of the game’s somewhat haphazard-feeling physics, it’s easy to tip over, or send your opponents flying with a well-timed nudge. The tracks, instead of being flat and smooth, are filled with bumps and jagged edges. We accidentally flipped our car a few times, but there’s a handy reset button for just such an occasion.
The default control option is tilt-based, but we preferred playing with digital touch controls on the sides of the screen. Though there’s no nitro boosts or weapons in this game, the ravaged tracks and crash physics make Race After 1977 feel more like an arcade racer than a simulation.
We started playing through the story mode, where you have to place third or above in a series of races, but we weren’t able to spend the money we won from racing. Instead of buying upgrades, we think that the cash won might be used for Game Center leaderboards in the final version.
Race After 1977 is nearly ready for the App Store. This month, developer Xpect Games will add Game Center support, a virtual steering wheel, and a tutorial to our nearly-complete preview build, and then submit to Apple. We think Race After 1977 fills a nice niche in the App Store racing genre, a grittier alternative to the polished car showroom models. It’ll hit the App Store in the next month.