Chequered Flag for Sheffield's Retro Racing
Exposed gets the same buzz from indie games that it used to from its musical namesake…
Both offer a broader emotional vocabulary than the latest boy band; both are full of too-cool-for-school outsider 'tudes that get you admiring looks at parties, and both are difficult to describe to your folks without their eyebrows raising so high they fall off the top of their heads.
Right now, Sheffield's indie game answer to the Arctic Monkeys is the mysterious Mr Qwak – whose iPhone game Retro Racing is a cute but sharp racer that's tearing up the app charts at #1in the racing charts and #6 in the overall game placings. Here's a vid –
We caught up with Mr Qwak main man Jamie Woodhouse to find out more and get some tips!
Exposed: How’s it feel to have the number #1 racing app on the iTunes store?
Jamie: Feels awesome! Bit of a shock though! Aside from anything else, it always feels great if other people are playing and enjoying your games.
Exposed: Where’d the idea for Retro Racing come from?
Jamie: It was mostly inspired by the two top-down racers I developed in the early 90's for the Amiga, Nitro and ATR (aka All Terrain Racing). It's got the speed of ATR, and viewed from directly above, just like Nitro. I would have also played loads of arcade racing games in my youth, Super Sprint, Hot Rod, to name just a few.
Exposed: Lots of people are going to be attracted to the cool retro aesthetic, but how have you attempted to set Retro Racing apart?
Jamie: I guess the main things that make Retro Racing different are the big environments (the game scrolls), the fact you drive faster when you collect the power-ups plus the handling of the cars. It's possibly quite different to how other similar looking games work and they skid and slide about quite well IMHO!
Exposed: How’s the Sheffield games dev scene?
Jamie: Yeah, there's a lot happening with the smaller indies; we're all pretty friendly and talk to each other. Usually meet up once a month for a natter. Tuna recently had success with Eufloria for iPad (pic below), which was 'Game of the Week' on the AppStore, and some of the other guys have iOS titles coming out soon too; which all look pretty awesome!
Exposed: What’s up next for Mr Qwak games?
Jamie: Well I'm currently working on the first update for Retro Racing, adding in support for iCade, split-screen multi-player on iPhone and iPod touch, and some more levels. I've also got a version of Qwak, for iPad, in development. After that, well, I've got one or two ideas…!
Lastly, here's a couple of tips for getting the most from your Retro Racing!
Jamie: First off, don't accelerate too much on corners (you lose traction as you accelerate). Maybe try tapping accelerate on and off for grip. Powerups are essential, but try and collect them early on in the race, even if you have to go out of the way a bit to do so. Lastly, keep playing, and learn the best racing line!
Retro Racing by Mr Qwak Games is available to buy now from the iTunes app store.Visit the Retro Racing site for more information.