|Publisher: CodeBlender Software Genre: Sports|
|Min OS X: 10.2.8 CPU: G4 @ 400 MHz RAM: 256 MB Graphics: 8 MB VRAM|
One of the most neglected game genres on the Mac is racing. Sure, there have been some good racing games on the platform but aside from the occasional novelty title or outdated licensed game we really have not had a lot to be excited about. After you finish the yearly Nascar Racing (a must-have for any oval racing fan) refresh there really isn’t a whole lot left.
Seeing this hole, and recognizing the Mac community’s long standing support of shareware game developers, CodeBlender has released RallyShift, a WRC racing game. And this is for good reason, very few forms of racing translate to video games as well as rally. Games like the PS2’s Grand Turismo series, WRC and the multi-platform Colin McRae racing series have popularized the WRC and has vaulted humble econo-boxes like the Subaru Imprezza, Mitsubishi Lancer and Ford Focus to modern equivalents of the last century’s hottest hot-rods.
For those not familiar with the WRC championship, a few facts about rally racing: The WRC is arguably the second largest racing series in the world in terms of viewership and global reach behind Formula 1. Cars eligible for racing in the series are highly modified versions of actual production cars – beneath the 350 HP, four wheel drive, 1,200-pound machines is the unibody from a typical economy car. Races are essentially time trials, where racers attack the course against the clock. Times are added up and the lowest accumulated time over the course of several days of racing is the winner. Courses range from tight asphalt roads that wind their way up mountains with sheer drops, to logging roads in Northern Europe which sport jumps that are taken at 130 miles per hour sending cars sailing through the air, snow and ice covered roads, and sub-Saharan villages where the local pastime is to throw giant suspension destroying rocks onto the track. Rally racing is not short on excitement.
So given the sport’s ability to deliver an exciting experience, a decent Rally racing game is long overdue on the Mac. And I am glad to say that our wait is over. Rally Shift delivers a pretty good racing experience.
Rally Shift offers three game play modes: Time Attack, Single Race and Championship. The game includes five tracks only two of which are available at first. The other two need to be unlocked by playing through the championship.
Cars include the Mitsubishi Lancer (three versions), Subaru Imprezza and the Ford Focus. Weights and power vary by car, but I did not feel a significant difference when playing them. The color schemes are reminiscent of the popular Rally teams but lack sponsor names – this is understandable given the lack of an official license.
Game play tends towards the arcade side of the spectrum. Cars handle predictably, and there are some limited tuning options. I like a lot of body roll and loose handling for my Rally car games and I was able to get the feel that I like. Not as loose as Sega Rally, but not as tight as Collin McRae Rally. Car setup choices are fairly limited: gearing, suspension, and transmission.