In the distant future of the 2100s, the world relies on the powers of Hex for their energy needs, be it housing, electronics, or futuristic vehicles. AXL: Full Boost (iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad) introduces us to the world of the future, and its brand of high-octane pod racing. Thanks to the game’s entertaining story line and fast-paced missions, AXL is solid, original mobile racing title.
Unlike most racing games that feature cup-based objectives, AXL is set up on a mission-based system, surrounded by a story of an unnamed protagonist pulled from hard labor to participate in races with these new machines. After a couple tutorials, players are thrown into a series of races, where the name of the game is collecting orbs to build up large speed boosts to win.
Anyone who’s played or seen a clip from the Wipeout game series will recognize the high-speed, minimalist look of the game’s level design and race aesthetics, although the courses in AXL leave a bit to be desired in the way of atmospheric detail. Many of the game’s courses feature sparse backgrounds and gray-colored level designs, and while the game’s sense of speed is good, the visual design doesn’t capture the same feel – both in terms of the game’s setting in year 2184, and capturing the high-octane feel of the different races.
The only other complaint I have about AXL are the controls, which are tilt-only, and loose as a pair of stretched-out socks. It can be a little frustrating when every race entail a copious amount of uncontrolled banging in to the wall on the way to the finish line. It’s not a game-breaking issue, but there certainly could be some tweaks and alternate control schemes added to help players get a better feel fro the control system.
There aren’t a whole lot of racing games in the App Store that take place in the future, but AXL: Full Boost fills the void nicely with its light science-fiction story and aesthetics. I’d love to see some multiplayer modes and alternate control schemes added, but these are minor complaints for one of the better arcade racers available on iOS devices.