Posted on Aug 25, 2013 | 34 comments

SMS Racing is a time trial arcade racer that captures the “thrill” of texting and driving. I built it on top of the stock Unity racing game demo in two days for Ludum Dare 27, “10 Seconds.”

Want to see this made into something bigger? Give me feedback on Steam Greenlight!

 

Play in Browser

Now you can play SMS Racing right in your browser!

Click here to play the original game as seen in the video above.

Click here to play the 4Kidz Version of the game (classroom-friendly, with swearing removed from the text messages).

 

Download

Download the game to play with better graphics settings if you’ve got a good computer.

Windows (v1.01)
Mac (v1.0)
Linux(v1.0)

4Kidz Version

The regular version of the game contains abbreviated swearing in the text messages (such as WTF, etc). The version below contains only clean text messages and is for parents or teachers that would like to show the game to kids.

Windows (vEdu 1.01)

IndieDB Page

The response to this little game has been way bigger than I expected, so I’ve set up a page on IndieDB to get more feedback on it from the community. If you’re getting slow download speeds from my website, the downloads are mirrored there.

 

Press

Here are some selections from the press that show the range of responses SMS Racing generated on its release:

Games Media

  • MTV Multiplayer – “…oddly addicting and even fun to play…should be a requirement at all driving schools and DMVs across the nation.”
  • Kotaku - “…a more effective tool for caution than any PSA or lecture. Send it to every teenage driver you know.”
  • IndieGames.com - “It’s amazing what a gloriously silly idea can do to Unity’s rather dull tutorial racing game.”
  • GameReactor - “…a short little addictive social commentary game…it’s a lot harder than you think.”
  • Kill Screen – “…a true next-gen racing sim.”
  • Dorkly - “Text ‘mushroom’ to 5702 for extra speed boosts.”

US National Media

  • Popular Mechanics – “Experience the Terror of Texting While Driving with SMS Racing”
  • Boston Globe – “Want to get better at texting and driving? You probably shouldn’t, but there’s now a way to practice.”
  • NBC News – “Like a growing number of’ ‘empathy games,’ ‘SMS Racing’ uses its gameplay to ask its players to reflect on the decisions they make in real life.”
  • New York Daily News – “Gaming designer Holden Link wants to see how good a driver you are.”
  • Fast Company – “A reminder of just how bad an idea texting and driving is, in game form.”
  • TIME -  ”It’s not a game that should be played in real life.”
  • WebProNews – “It’s impossible. It’s worse than QWOP. It’s exactly as hard as it should be.”
  • Relevant Magazine – “[SMS Racing] is a maddening challenge, and it rivals Werner Herzog’s documentary for shedding light on this growing problem.”
  • Zimbio - “Computer Game Demoes Doucebaggery”

International Media

TV Coverage

 

VR Prototype

I’m currently working on a VR version of SMS Racing. Here’s a sneak peek!