Aero Drive - a zippy endless racer for Windows Phone
There are times that the world of racing games and endless runners collide in the Windows Phone Store and the end result is a fun game to spend a little time with. Aero Drive hopes to be one such game in the Windows Phone Store.
Aero Racer places you in the cockpit of a spaceship where you have to zip across an endless track that is filled with obstacles that you have to navigate around. You will also find coins scattered about that not only influence your score but also can be spent in the gaming store to unlock new ships and power-ups.
Graphics are decent (but could use some pep) and game play challenging. In spending a little time with Aero Racer, while there is room for improvement, the Windows Phone game isn't a bad option to pick up when you are feeling the need for speed.
Your primary menu for Aero Drive is brief and not very complicated. You will find your best score displayed in the upper right corner of the menu, an option to launch game play and a hamburger menu that will pull up additional options. These options include access to share the game, change your spaceship, view the game's leaderboard, access the settings, visit the gaming store and view your achievements. It's worth noting that access to Aero Drive's achievements and leaderboard require you to log into your Facebook account.
Settings with Aero Drive are minimal with options to mute sound effects and music, along with logging into your Facebook account. The gaming store includes in-app purchases for coins as well as upgrades/power-ups that can be purchased with the gaming coins collected during game play.
Game controls are minimal and nicely placed. Your spaceship will be running down an endless track that has three lanes. Your steering controls are on-screen buttons located in the left and right, bottom corners of the screen to shift your ship from lane to lane. Along with the steering controls, the gaming screen will have a pause button and camera angle control in the upper left corner. Your score and coin count will be in the upper right corner.
The camera angle toggles between a game view from above and behind the spaceship and a view from the cockpit. Coin toss as to which angle is best but playing from the cockpit will develop a tendency to lean into the game as you shift lanes.
The goal is to race your spaceship as far as possible down the track. The further you survive, the faster the pace of play becomes. In your way, scattered along the track is an assortment of barricades, columns and moving objects that you will need to avoid. Then there is the coins that are scattered along the track that you need to collect.
As the pace picks up, the distance between dangers seems to decrease, which will keep you on your toes as you zig-zag between them. There will be times you avoid collecting coins to maneuver safely between staggered columns. Hit an obstacle and the game is over.
Along with the power-ups you can purchase in the gaming store, there will be a few scattered along the racetrack as well. When collected an icon will appear at the bottom of the gaming screen. All that is needed from there is to tap the icon to activate the power-up. Power-ups include shields to protect you from the obstacles, a magnet to collect the coins and a headstart power-up that gives your ship a burst of speed.
For the most part, I found Aero Drive to be an entertaining racing game. While the graphics are decent, they could use a little bit more flair or pep. Maybe a slow motion transition screen showing your ship explode into tiny little pieces when you wreck or maybe sparks as your ship nicks the edges of the track.
While graphics and animations could use a little fine-tuning, game play will keep you on your toes. Aero Drive starts out at a casual, gingerly pace to allow you to get a feel for the controls. It only takes a few seconds though for the game to pick up in speed and if your attention strays the slightest, you will find your ship slamming into a column that raises up from the track.
All in all, Aero Drive could stand a little improvement but as is, the Windows Phone title is a fun time waster of a game. Aero Drive is a free, ad-supported game that uses those annoying full-screen ads. They will pop-up after every game, so you know they are coming and are a little less irritating than you find with other games.
At last check, Aero Drive was pulling down a 4 Star rating in the Windows Phone Store, which is about right for this gaming title. If you try Aero Drive, let us know what you think of things in the comments below.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.