Developer: Mitkin and Petrov Productions
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Now and again, when reviewing iPhone apps, I’m pleasantly surprised by games that appear relatively mundane at face value and turn out to be a gaming gem upon closer inspection. Games that, for whatever reason, manage to somehow fly under the proverbial radar until they’re discovered by the masses. Such was the case with Hit N’ Run.

Hit N’ Run is best described as a 3D racing game with color-coded endurance elements. The developer describes it as: “An addictive mix of a full-blown 3D racing game and a Tetris®-like dynamic puzzle.”

Aaaahhhh, that’s how it’s managed to go relatively unnoticed. After reading that, I wouldn’t stop to give it a second look, either. That’s like saying, “Have a swig of our new Steak Quesadilla Dr. Pepper!” They’re two great tastes, but don’t go together.

Hit N’ Run features:

  • Highly dynamic, innovative gameplay
  • Realistic traffic simulation
  • Rich 3D graphics and sounds
  • Three different game modes
  • Helicopter and roof camera views
  • Online high-score system
  • A unique car control system
  • photo15Hit N’ Run’s premise is simple: Players control a sports car driving down a freeway and weave in and out of traffic, hitting cars that are the same color as theirs while avoiding different-colored vehicles to stay in the game as long as they can. When your car color changes, simply continue going after vehicles of the that new color. Colors change often and, unlike real life (unless you’re driving in New York), you’re rewarded for breaking traffic laws and following the worst driving practices.

    For every car of the same color you hit, you earn extra points. The faster and farther you go determine your score. Players receive bonuses for top speed, distance traveled (Freestyle Mode) or course completion time (Sprint Mode). Their are also bonuses located along the shoulder that can boost your advantage, i.e. extra speed and Ghost Car (invincibility), or inhibit your advancement, i.e. heavy traffic, Sunday driving, etc. There are also multi-colored wild card cars that can be struck by any color vehicle.

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    Hit N’ Run’s graphics are crisp, colorful and well-drawn, providing players with a romanticized view of freeway driving and game play animations are very smooth. The game’s dramatic, cinematic soundtrack embellishes an already frenetic game play pace. Sound effects, such as the honking horns of angry drivers you’ve just cut off and the swish and squeal as you pass other vehicles at high speeds integrate well with the music and game play.

    photo10Game play is divided into three different modes: Sprint, Free Ride and Time Trial and two difficulty levels: Normal and Advanced. Players steer their car using accelerometer-only tilt controls or accelerometer and touch controls, controlling the speed of their car using on-screen gas/brake buttons and steering via tilt control. While I normally favor touch controls, the tilt steering in this game works well and adds a complimentary difficulty level that surprisingly enhances the game’s replay value.

    Hit N’ Run also provides players with several game play options, such as the ability to choose left or right-handed steering, the ability to change distance measurement units and the option to choose between touch and tilt control or tilt-only control. Hit N’ Run also features online scoring (via AGNON Online) and unlockable achievements.

    The game play display screen shows your score, distance, number of lives and current vehicle damage (players have three stages of health; after their car is damaged three times, they restart from the shoulder), current/upcoming vehicle color change, speed and time. There’s also a white icon above the brake pedal that allows you to choose between one of two driving views: Helicopter view, which is more or less a bird’s eye view and an unlockable Rooftop view from behind the vehicle, which not only provides a better view of the upcoming traffic, it provides a beautiful view of the sunset/cityscape.

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    Hit N’ Run does have a couple of minor flaws: Game play can become monotonous for some and, priced at $1.99, it sports a relatively hefty price tag (probably another reason it hasn’t received its due credit).

    Flaws aside, Hit N’ Run is a unique, well-developed endurance racer with superb graphics, animations and sound. It features several game/game play modes that are well-balanced with an ample amount of bonuses and unlockables to make the game diverse and challenging enough to beckon players to engage in just one more game, over and again. If you can afford the price, I recommend you purchase this game.

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