Parents' Guide to


By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Dizzying sci-fi racer filled with gravity-defying fun.

Game HTC Vive , Linux , Mac , Oculus Rift , Windows 2018
Distance Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 1 parent review

age 8+

Distance, from the perspective of a long time player and pre-release participant.

Distance is a game that heavily focuses on hand & eye co-ordination and creative thinking. The game takes place in a futuristic styled cityscape, where roads float and everything has a glowing element on it. The player controls a high-tech electric car, with rocket boost, jumping, flight and rotational thrusters. That may sound rather complicated at first, however the game does not introduce any more than one of these abilities in a single level. Rather, the player is introduced to one ability and is given three to four levels to become familiar with it. Once all the abilities are familiarized, the game will get progressively more difficult until the stories conclusion. The learning curve can be further simplified by considering that the only time the player shouldn't be boosting is while using the flight ability. The car can jump by tapping the Spacebar key when on the ground. The car can jump to four times it's height before reaching it's highest. The flight ability is easy and simple to use, and feels natural. It is activated by tapping the Spacebar key when in the air. The car will level itself off with gravity on its own, and this setting can be disabled if the player wants it disabled. The cars rotational thrusters apply downward force to a side of the car, controlled with the W, A, S and D keys. The player is able to use al the thrusters at once by holding the Q button. The thrusters allow the player to be more agile in the air and on the ground. Distance also comes with a built in level designer tool, All levels for the game are made in this, meaning that the player has all the tools and objects that the games creators have. The level designer can be confusing at a glance, but, just like the cars abilities, is deceptively simple. Right-clicking anywhere in the 'world' will move the 'cursor'. objects are then placed by clicking on them in the object menu on the left of the screen. colours of the objects are able to be changed to the designers liking. I learned how the editor works by watching a few simple tutorial videos, and have become well-accustomed to it through countless hours creating my own content, which has been shared with the world. Levels can be uploaded the a "Workshop" on 'Steam'. Steam is the service that hosts all the levels and scoreboards Distance has. The level workshop is patrolled by moderators, who will quickly remove any inappropriate content. I have never heard of or seen any inappropriate content on the workshop, so they must be doing a pretty good job. Some levels have been given a 'nightmare' difficulty rating. this does not mean your children will have nightmares if they play these levels. When a level is of 'nightmare' difficulty, it simply means it is exceptionally difficult. A great majority of the more helpful community members gather on their Discord server. Discord is a communication and file sharing service, similar to any messaging service. The Discord server also updates players on anything they should know about pertaining to Distance, such as upcoming changes, community events and known issues. That being said, pre-teens should use it only while under supervision from their parents, as some members on the Discord server use swear words more casually than average. Parents may also want to encourage their child to take a break from the game if they are getting frustrated. Even my friends who are old enough to have kids of their own have had to step away. If your child is interested in Distance, I definitely recommend it. The only characters in the game are the car, The archaic entity trying to stop the car, and the computer city's automated loudspeaker system. Distance has subtitles for the hearing impaired. Distance has fast moving objects and pulsing lights that may make it unsuitible for those who are prone to visual-induced seizures. Distance has optional multiplayer interaction. Distance has free community content. Distance will never have in-app purchases.

This title has:

Easy to play/use

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

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.

Game Details

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