Cracking Sands erupts onto Xbox on Windows Phone

Ready for a little racing? This week’s Xbox Windows Phone release, Cracking Sands comes from Polarbit, the Swedish developers also responsible for Windows 8 launch game Reckless Racing.

Head past the break for our first impressions.

Cracking Sands (ouch, that name) is a combat racer set in kind of an apocalyptic setting. Impish little drivers ride around on 4-wheel ATVs and take part in a variety of races:

  • Normal Race: In this race mode you compete against up to six other racers.  To win you need to be the first to complete all the laps in the race.
  • Head of the pack: In head of the pack the goal is to hold the pole position for a certain time, when the time is up, you are awarded one point.  If you are unable to hold first position during this time, the timer will reset and start ticking for the new leader.  The player that reaches a certain amount of points wins the race.
  • Elimination: In Elimination you run for as many laps as possible. For each lap the last player across the line is eliminated from the race. The race is over if you are eliminated.  you win the race by being the last man standing!
  • Time Trial: Race against the clock on the track of choice. You can either race against yourself or against a friends ghost downloaded through Xbox LIVE

Cracking Sands

All the while you’ll blast away at your enemies with weapons like machine guns, rockets, and EMPs. Racers are indestructible, so you’ll attack to slow them down rather than kill them off (aww). Get energy for weapons and Nitro from pick-ups and energy pads scattered around the track. Collect gold coins and win the race (you lose them if you fail) to save up for weapon and ATV upgrades.

Cracking Sands seems like a fun game so far, once you turn off ‘Floating Action Buttons’ in the Control Options. Don’t know what they were thinking with that control type. The game also seems quite challenging right from the get-go. Don’t expect to win every race on your first try. Many racing fans like a challenge, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Cracking Sands costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here at the Windows Phone Store. And remember, next week's game is Carcassonne.

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!