Finland’s Umber Games has released an update to Cava Racing, giving us an excuse to give some coverage to the top-down racer available in the App Store for €0.99 (Android soon to follow). It’s a simple racing game – you’re steering your ship around a straightforward track to try to beat your ghost racer to the finish line. There’s nothing complicated to maximize, like collecting coins upgrade your acceleration or handling or anything – once you beat the ghost racer enough, you get a new faster ship to figure out. It’s back to basics.
The complexity of the game come down to the ship’s poor handling – the creators say they’re inspired by the physics in games like Asteroids, Maelstorm, Gravitar. In order to make the turn, you’ve got to start thinking one or two turns ahead so you can get your ship pointed in the right direction boost and hit the next turn.
Before the update, Cava Racing gave you either tilt steering or a virtual joystick for controls, which I actually appreciated. No one likes those virtual joysticks (at least I don’t, so I’ll make that sweeping generalization) and the tilt steering threw your ship all over the place. It was fun and infuriating because if you hit the wall enough, your ships shields deplete, making you start all over again.
With the update they’ve added button-press controls as an option to steer your ship, which I get because tilt steering makes you look like a goon on the bus. Now the game is a more accessible, but to me the joy of the game was that I finally was forced to figure out an annoying tilt racer.
“The Game is stripped from all the distractions and random events. It’s all about flying and developing your skills. Cava Racing is challenging, but once you get a hang of it, you’ll get the delight of being a master pilot,” says Matti Saarikallio, co-founder Umber Games in their press release.
For €0.99 the game will give you a lot more enjoyment than a can of soda, so I say go for it, but only if you go for the tilt controls.