Racing game with a novel augmented reality element
Size: 173.5 MB
Developer: Teatime Games
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Hyperspeed is a racing game with a twist – you race real people around the world in real-time, using augmented reality (and your front camera) to display your own face while playing. However, you don’t have to just sit idly with a strange look of concentration on your face – the AR element means you can apply one of the game’s unique ‘Gamefaces’ to your own. This tends to be a brightly colored visor or helmet to amp up your appearance. Looking good.
So, it all sounds like fun, right? But in practice, does it work? Let’s explore.
Once you’ve set up your profile and selected your Gameface, the app will automatically attempt to connect you through your phone’s cellular or Wi-Fi connection to another player seeking a race.
From here, you race your new pal to win a mighty 5 points. It’s a high-speed game, with a retro-futuristic design in which you take it in turns with your partner to do a lap. There is no limit to the number of laps and the race only ends once one of you loses all three of your lives, by getting hit by an object or crashing into a barrier. If you collect enough power blobs, you will be able to fire obstacles at your opponent on their turn to injure them. This could take the form of an acid spill, meteor attack, or another randomly-selected power-up.
But it’s not all about skill in the race – you can also speak to your opponent while you play. Though considering we were connected with a lovely young man in the Philipines, the inevitable language barrier did make it difficult to wax lyrical on the rise of isolation in modern society whilst trying to sneak into pole position using a cheeky power-up.
However, that wasn’t the only issue. It seemed that every other race saw our opponent succumb to connection issues and forfeit – so we win: 5 points. Next, the system couldn’t find anyone so we played a bot and lost – the shame – but also… 5 points. The points system does seem a little redundant in this game.
But you need those points to play on other worlds, of which there are three. Once we finally got the necessary points we were excited to race in another world and try something different. Unfortunately, it seems that the game was unable to find anyone to play that had made it to this second world yet and we found ourselves spending a lot of time with that pesky bot. To make matters worse, the track is virtually the same – apart from there being a different planet in the background and the obstacles being in a slightly different place.
Hyperspeed is the first game built on Teatime Live, a new social gaming platform that will enable plenty more games to include this kind of face-to-face horseplay in future. The idea is novel, and it’s entertaining for a while, but we think it needs a bit of time to iron out some inevitable teething problems – like consistently finding another actual human to play against. Without the AR gimmick, Hyperspeed is a fine but largely forgettable racing game – but we’re certainly looking forward to what Teamtime Live does next!