This is the 3rd commercial application we've reviewed from the theKompany.com. tkcRace is
billed as a classic car race game.
Like their other applications, you need to make sure you have installed their qpe-thekompany ipk
to RAM. I had problems installing the tkcRace ipk to a CompactFlash card, but there were no problems installing it to RAM.
tkcRace starts up to an attractive splash screen, which is replaced by a menu option
(shown by the first screenshot). Here you have 4 different cars to race with, as well as 5 different tracks. Track 4 has some serious corners to
navigate around; you're probably safe to start with track 3. You also have the option of the number of laps you want. I found to my peril that going for
9 laps is a bit dangerous for reasons I'll explain.
After choosing your options, you can either go on a training session or start a real race against
the other 3 cars. Never one for practice, I dived into the action!
Screenshot 2 shows the start of the race. Navigation of your car is controlled by the hardware cursor keys,
and as long as you've got fairly slender fingers, control isn't too difficult. I've always liked racing games where you have a birds eye
view. tkcRace is not meant to be a realistic simulation of a racing game. Nevertheless it's a fun and addictive game. The tiny track in the
bottom left hand corner is a helpful indicator, showing you how far ahead (or behind) you are of the other cars.
It took me a few laps to get to grips with the steering. I kept having problems hitting the edge of the track,
but it wasn't long before I won my first race (see screenshot 3). That's not to say the game isn't challenging. I found the more laps I selected
the harder it was to keep my fingers on the controls. Maybe Sharp could incorporate a little joystick into their next PDA?
It's also entertaining to deliberately obstruct the other cars (nothing like real life then :). Track 4 takes a bit
of time to master especially a few of the really tight corners.
I remember playing a similiar game on an old SNES a few years back, and I'm pleased to say I've had just as
much fun with tkcRace. Although there are only 5 tracks to drive around, theKompany promise to release more, for no extra
charge which will certainly lengthen the gameplay.
Besides having the choice of more tracks, the one improvement I'd like to see is for smoother scrolling of the track. When your car
is going at full speed, the movement is quite smooth. But it's a little ragged when you are starting to accelerate, or when you've bumped into
another car. Neverthless, this is one of the best games I've played on the Zaurus, and that includes the many free games that are available for this
PDA. The price is very reasonable too!