News, reviews, information and apps for Nokia and Symbian.
If you have a need for speed and a penchant for polygons, then SpeedX might be just what you’re looking for. This fast-paced, obstacle avoiding, 3D racing game tests your reactions to the limit, with the object of surviving as long as you can. What’s more, this game also features a stereoscopic 3D mode, requiring anaglyph glasses. Read on to get the low-down on this high-paced speeder, along with my video reactions.
SpeedX, from Gamelion, is the fastest game I’ve ever seen running on a mobile device, and it’s one of the most original too. That said, it might sound like my verdict on the game is obvious - not quite …
In terms of rules, SpeedX is simple. There is no physics simulation, you are playing with pure speed and reactions. You zoom along in a 3D environment, trying to grab power-ups, and avoiding obstacles as you go. Sounds easy eh? Think again.
The 'inner-tube' view in SpeedX
The game begins in a black and white 3D tube, with coloured tracks indicating that an obstacle is coming up. You cannot control your speed, but by rotating the phone clockwise or anti-clockwise you can shift right and left, respectively. Hopefully moving out of the way of the blocks that will swiftly end your game should you hit them. Power-ups come in the form of shields that will protect you in collisions. Effectively, these play an analogous role to extra lives.
The plane view in SpeedX, and note the shield indicators in the bottom right corner
Just as you get used to the relative security of zooming inside an enclosed tube, the whole track opens up into a flat plane, giving you a more traditional racing experience. Just be careful not to steer off the side! However, the landscape can randomly close around you again, or form a tube with you on the outside. In the latter mode, the gameplay is significantly changed as you find yourself with a much shorter horizon.
Running along the outside of the tubular track
As mentioned, your speed during the game is constant. The only speed control is via the difficulty level: Casual, Easy, Standard, Extreme. For this reviewer, even the casual level was very fast! Whatever you think to SpeedX as a game, it is a jaw-dropping demonstration of the graphics acceleration chip used in current Symbian^3 phones.
SpeedX makes for a stunning demonstration of Symbian^3 graphics capability
As mentioned in the introduction, SpeedX also comes with a stereoscopic mode, for viewing through anaglyph glasses. I would have to class this as a novelty feature. While the effect works, I found that the game is moving so fast that you do somewhat lose the effect. Furthermore, the ‘monoscopic’ graphics are so good on their own, that you don’t gain that much for the inconvenience of carrying around special specs. Also, having a predominantly white track plays against the stereoscopic mode. I found myself being aware of the dual colour tints as I played. So much so, that it detracted from the 3D view.
SpeedX's stereoscopic mode
In the video below, I tried to capture my first impressions of this stereoscopic mode. You’ll see that I wasn’t exactly blown away by the effect, even though it did work.
One downside with SpeedX is eye strain, even more so in the stereoscopic mode. You need to be careful with SpeedX if you are prone travel sickness or eyestrain. SpeedX fails to post any such warning while it loads up.
Overall, SpeedX is an unashamed one-trick pony. If you’ve enjoyed similar games on other platforms, then I recommend you pick up SpeedX from the Ovi Store. Priced at £1.00, it is something of a bargain.