Race through different track layouts and challenge others in multiplay

Dodging and running opponents off the road are all part of the challenge in Island Racer.

Island Racer is a racing game for those who don't need hard-core vehicle simulations. You drive a car through a variety of tracks, including off-road, and nudging your opponents off the road not just allowed by encouraged. Island Racer installs on Macs easily. There is a Lite version, which is free but limited, while the full copy will cost you $4.99.

Island Racer lets you choose your car silhouette and color, and then gives you a third-person behind-the-car view as you steer around the tracks. Island Racer can generate track and scenery in real time, so each track can be different. The graphics are good in a cartoonish manner but not outstanding, although some of the vehicle damage images look strange. The problem we had with Island Racer is simply that once you've steered through a track or two, the playability goes down because they all start to look and behave the same. There's not enough variety for long-term enjoyment for most people, and the physics and damage modeling are too simplistic for hard-core race simulation fans. There is an online competition mode that may be more thrilling for many.

Island Racer is a mixed bag. It's good for a few runs, but we suspect boredom will set in after a few races. Of course, this kind of racing game may be exactly what you are looking for, so the free Island Racer Lite version is worth a try if you like racing games.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Island Racers 2.5.3.

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