Sunday Almanac, 28 October 2012

By Owen Faraday 28 Oct 2012 0
Trading paint. The Southern 500 stock car race in Darlington, South Carolina - year uncertain.

There were quite a lot of projects occupying my time at Castle Faraday last week, so some of the content I've been trying to get out the door has been delayed a bit. All of it will appear in the fullness of time, have no doubt.

I think it's fair to say that Racer Feud is the new Pocket Tactics Forums obsession. The two threads about the game are each as long as my arm and show no signs of slowing down - I've personally been in about a dozen races since Thursday, and the invites are still coming fast and furious.

This turn-based multiplayer racer based on board game Formula Dé is, on many levels, an abject failure. The UI is a schizophrenic mess that swings between stubborn pedantry (roll a twenty? push your car twenty times to move) and aloof obscurity (why did I just go from fourth gear to first?). Between the lack of GameCenter support and the inability to boot out laggards, setting up a multiplayer game is a trial.

But for all that, Racer Feud is damn fun. When you're barreling into the final turn with no fuel and only the barest skin of rubber between your wheels and the tarmac, two other drivers following close enough to shave in your rear-view mirror - that's one of the most exciting multiplayer experiences going on iOS.

If I were the Formula Dé rightsholders that tried to stop Racer Feud from reaching the App Store, I would be getting on my bike right now. They'd better release a competent mobile edition of Formula Dé before LindApp hammers all of the dings out of Racer Feud, because there'll be no reason to buy theirs then.

A quick housekeeping note before we get to the links: Weekend Price Drops will be appearing tomorrow afternoon in order to list the various Hallowe'en sales going on.

  • I had flirted with the notion of buying a Microsoft Surface RT - surely MS has lined up game devs to support it, much as they've done with Skulls of the Shogun and Windows 8. Marco Arment's experience of using one threw a bit of cold water on that idea, but (the reasoning part of my brain insisted) Arment's vested interest in Apple devices might have skewed his perceptions. Then I read Brent Ozar's post on the subject - so much for that fanciful notion.



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