You’d have to be out of your tree to try this for real. Flying propeller-driven planes through tunnels, cities and waterfall-covered tunnels is for crazies or people with a death wish. You need only have seen the recent Stealth Fighter crash at an American air show to realise how dangerous flying can be, even without doing stunts.
Air Race is fundamentally a bog standard racing game that attempts to add impetus to the genre by forcing the player to go up and down as opposed to just left and right. This works to a certain extent. It’s fast and furious and you really get the feeling of exhilaration as you surge through narrow mountain passes and built-up areas.
But after a few hours play you realise that there’s not quite enough to it to keep you coming back formore. Themostmemorable car games, such as Rage Racer and Formula 1 ’97 keep you coming back again and again because theymake you feelmore involved with the environment.
Perhaps it’s the fact that you’re on solid ground and can feel the cars squealing around a corner, but the underlying feeling you’ll get from playing this is one of boredom, especially when you realise there are only four tracks in total.
Initially, there are 11 planes to choose from and two hidden extras to discover when you’ve won all of the courses, and they all handle differently. To help beginners get to grips with the control, there’s auto-pilot assistance and a course guide represented by a stream of balls to follow, but this soon gets annoying as you must turn it off each time you race.
Options include a Time Attack and Competition mode, with various pick-ups to provide racers with an advantage littered around each level. The downsides include the exclusion of Dual Analogue control, no way of shooting other planes out of the sky, and no damage inflicted on planes during mid-air collisions. There is a two player split-screen option with minimal slow-down, but Air Race is never more than average.