A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Your car simply races through the environment from checkpoint to checkpoint, trying to survive to the finish line. There's a bit of a mystery that unfolds, but it's still essentially a pure race experience without any other motivations.
Ease of Play
While the game seems like a straightforward racer at first, it quickly gets much more complicated with moves like wall grabs, flight, zero gravity, etc. Players also need to use all of these abilities to avoid a steady stream of hazards eager to scrap their car. Plus, the game's level editor has a bit of a learning curve.
Violence & Scariness
No blood or even living creatures seen anywhere in the game. But tracks are littered with hazards like lasers, buzz saws, and more that will rip apart your car.
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Although there's no profanity (or even dialogue) in the game, the multiplayer component could expose younger players to offensive language from real-world opponents.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Distance is a futuristic racing game available for download on Windows-, Macintosh-, and Linux-based computers, with virtual reality support for both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Players race through a series of sci-fi tracks littered with a variety of different hazards that can destroy their car. There's quite a bit more of a learning curve than in most racing games, as players teleport, fly, and defy gravity using multiple different abilities. There's also a level editor included that allows players to build their own custom tracks and share them with others online. While there's no dialogue in the game itself, multiplayer support could open up players to offensive language from other live players via chat.
Is It Any Good?
This fast-paced racer will test your racing skills, but the VR functionality may test your resistance to nausea. Distance takes the feeling of playing with toy cars when you were a kid and wraps it up in a techno-fueled, neon-colored, futuristic sci-fi package. Things start off like a standard racer, but the learning curve quickly takes a steep climb as your car's abilities come into play. Before long, you find yourself needing to combine jumps with side thrusters to flip the car and make right angle leaps from the road to the wall. Or maybe skip past a turn by opening up your car's wings to take flight and drive over or even under the track to shave off a few seconds. All of that's even before the various hazards (lasers, buzz saws, warp portals, etc.) come into play. It's a complex combination of controls to learn, but once you do, gliding through the chaos becomes a gorgeous automotive ballet.
The single-player Adventure mode is pretty short, but it's basically an extended tutorial. Like many racing games, the real fun comes in racing with others. It's a lot of fun to come up with unique ways to use your car's abilities to slip past the competition. Another great feature is the built-in level editor. Although it's a bit more complicated, it immediately brings to mind the days of laying out plastic Hot Wheels tracks in insane patterns to see just how far you could push those toy cars. And once you have a track you're proud of, you can share it online with the Distance community while checking out some of the new tracks crafted by others. While it features VR support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, this is a double-edged sword. You'll be mesmerized by the game's environments, but playing in first-person mode can quickly become a dizzying and almost nauseating experience, due to all the twists, turns, and flashing lights whizzing by. It's great in short bursts if you can take it, but definitely something that shouldn't be used for extended periods of time.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.