Race through different track layouts and challenge others in multiplay | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

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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