Shine Runner Review: Vector Unit Makes Waves Once Again

Vector Unit’s second outing on the Android platform returns to the familiar water racing genre similar to their first hit, Riptide GP that first made splashes on Tegra 2 devices. Leaving behind water tracks in favor of a southern swamps and jet skis for fan boat, Shine Runner’s unique humor and arcade game play is great addition to the racing scene. Is it enough for you to put your swimming trunks on and anchor $1.99?

Name: Shine Runner | Developer: Vector Unit | Genre: Racing | Players: Single | Version: 1.0 | Size: 27MB | Price: $1.99 (Full) |

Shine Runners premise is simple, you’re a smuggler whose job is to collect as much money as you can and all the while escaping from a number of police boats. You’ll splash across six tracks in a 10 days race with names ranging from “Guns N’ Jugs” to “The Giggin Hole”. Funds can be spent on the store to purchase Snake Oil and Gator Tails. Yes, this game has it’s take on hillbilly humor. From the banjo music to characters themselves, Shine Runner provides an amusing environment.


One of main draw here is the graphics. If your mobile device can handle it, try to crank up the graphics to the highest point and watch as those destructible environment falls in sharp crisp resolution. Speaking of destructible environments, as you race along the swamp you’ll be in crashing head first into barrels, trees, shacks and amusingly gators and chickens. These moments are pretty amusing, as I once smashed into a NPC before hitting a ramp and watched him fly at least 10 feet in the air. Couple this with an hdmi-out (again depends on your device) and you have a console game that loses no resolution when blown up.

As with any touch screen game, controls can make or break the game. Thankfully Vector Unit gave us two options that would satisfy most. From tilt to touch, I found myself power drifting in no time. Which is great considering the physics in this engine is spot on. It’s a simple to pick up and play and again thanks to the great physics the boat behaves naturally. The sound is pretty crisp too, and voices turns into echoes once you reach a tunnel. Headphones recommended.


The only drawbacks I see are the lack of differentiation between tracks. “Crazy Eddie’s” is a gator filled swamp, the “Giggin Hole” is a gator filled swamp and “Bookie T’s” is a gator filled swamp with a highway. Additionally, collecting money and spending it on the store to buy Snake Oils and Gator Tails doesn’t affect game play. It’s meant to track your score until your 10 day race is done. I wish they served a better purpose like customizing your fan boat or unlocking new tracks.

Despite being short, Shine Runner is a great game that stands on its own. Great graphics sounds and a humor that should amuse most, I highly recommend this to fans of Riptide GP and racing genre in particular. With high quality game such as these, Android future in gaming looks bright.

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