Racing is all well and good, but everyone who owns a car can attest to the primal thrill of just driving. Testing your own abilities - and your car's - against the world.
Forever Drive takes this one step further by weaving community track creation into its very DNA. In effect, it gives us all a massive Scalectric set... for free... and then lets us drive all the cars as well.
Supermono's excellent freemium app runs on a simple premise. Each player can make tracks using a simple and effective level editor, which are then joined together to make a single infinite race.
We then get to leap into the cloud and drive, drive, drive; just us against our own limitations and the devious machinations of our fellow track builders.
The mechanics are perfectly sound, and essentially resemble a cross between Outrun, Tron and LittleBigPlanet. Smooth controls allow you to race checkpoint to checkpoint, collecting powerups and passing opposing cars for meagre bonuses. Every race will eventually run out of time... but you'll always come back for just one more shot at the perfect forever drive.
As you drive, you'll constantly earn experience that can be used to unlock a massive selection of new cars, design elements and decals. It's a cynically addictive system, but one that adds significant extra clout to a free app.
Visually, Forever Drive does the business. Regardless of which iThing you own, you'll be guaranteed a crisp and colourful experience with a wireframe Tron-esque vibe. Fans of Rez or Space Invaders: IG will be in seventh heaven.
So where does the money come in? Well, basically, you'll have to pay if you want to save more than a handful of tracks or participate in extra XP races. And that's it. Since Forever Drive is free, it couldn't hurt to reward its developers with a small pittance if you really enjoy it. If not, don't pay a penny.
There are a couple of minor problems that stop Forever Drive from becoming an instant classic. The current build allows you to place structures over tracks, which lets trolls completely ruin the fun for everyone. Get downvoting, people!
iPad users should note (with some relief, I might add) that the controls aren't as dire as they first appear. You can simply touch below the direction icons to slam on the brakes rather than reach for the uncomfortable corners, though it's still not ideal.
- Brilliant concept
- Addictive experience and unlocks
- Crisp Kandinsky-style visuals
- Stop putting buildings in the middle of tracks, you idiots!
Summary: Forever Drive is the wireframe lovechild of Outrun, Rez and ModNation Racers. For free. Get involved and keep this remarkable precedent running!
Developer: Supermono Studios
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Price: FREE - App Store