Before we get cracking, let’s all agree that texting and driving in real life is not a game. The developers behind SMS Racing feel the same way, and they have put together this hilarious mobile virtual reality game to drive the point home.
The game is a total remake of the 2013 browser game, SMS Racing. This new version uses all new material, sharing only the original name and concept with the last. It was built specifically for the 2015 Oculus Mobile VR Jam, where hundreds of app and game creators team up to build captivating VR experiences.
We’ve seen texting and driving games done dozens of times before, and it’s always the same feel. They’re usually a dry, boring attempt to educate teens of the dangers of texting and driving. SMS Racing comes in and completely changes the tune. When you first begin racing, you’re told to try to finish a lap as fast as you can with no wrecks while responding to text messages within a limited time.
There is an instructor talking to you during the race, who encourages you to keep up with your social connections, and focus less on the road. She tells you, with all the sarcasm from the developers, that texting is an important part of driving, and that it would be rude not to respond to your mates. If you fail to respond to a message within ten seconds, you are told to, “…restart, or keep driving and reflect on how it feels to have no friends.”
Some of the game’s features include:
- Time Trial mode and Race mode
- Head tracking to change view based on movement
- AI rivals who also text and drive
- City and Suburb environments
The constant need to text becomes the most annoying and frustrating part of the game, further demonstrating its sole purpose. By the time you get a lap in, you have probably cursed the game as often as you’ve wrecked the car. In the end, it’s all smiles and a chance to laugh at how ridiculous it really is to put texting before driving.
SMS Racing had been through four rounds in the Mobile VR Jam, until presenting its final build on 11th May when the judging began. Until 26th May, voters can choose their favourite games by visiting the game page. The top performers will be judged by a panel, and winners will take home a large sum of money and lots of exposure. You can check out the game here and even download it (if you have an Android) or visit the original SMS Racing website to play the 2013 version. If you like the game, show your support by voting in the Mobile VR Jam.