148Apps Network Post
Developer: Disney
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

UPDATE: On 03/08/2011, Disney released an update for Jelly Car 3 that adds several extras. Included in the update are two new cars, the ability to import/export custom car designs via your photo roll, three new levels and a new ghost racing feature. The addition of ghost racing is definitely a nice touch I can appreciate.

The Jelly Car series first began on Microsoft’s XNA platform, but didn’t gain much of its fan base until it moved over to the iOS platform. The easy to pick-up-and-play nature of the title works well on a handheld, which explains why it was so successful on the App Store.

With Jelly Car 3, Disney has taken much of what made its previous Jelly Car titles enjoyable and expanded upon them. The concept here hasn’t changed at all. Jelly Car 3 challenges you to maneuver a car from one end of a two-dimensional stage to its end point. The catch is in the physics of the car. As the title implies, the car handles like it’s made of jelly. Using soft-body physics to achieve this, as you drive your car forward, it’ll bounce up and down on any surface you come in contact with. At times, it’s easy to forget you’re even driving a car because of the exaggerated physics.

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of Jelly Car 3 is that it successfully marries together the platforming and racing genres, creating an interesting and entertaining hybrid. And the addition of power-ups, such as a balloon that you can use to float higher into the level and sticky tires that let you stick to surfaces and travel upside down, adds variety and challenge to the formula. Of course, if you’ve played either of the other games in the series, you already know this. There are reasons for fans to upgrade to the sequel, though. There are 50 new levels, each filled with more obstacles than the last. There’s also a brand new car customization feature, which lets you create your own jelly car.

While Jelly Car 3 is a fun iOS game, it does have one major shortcoming: its controls. Frankly, the title just doesn’t control that well, and this truth can be somewhat annoying at times. Despite this issue being rather significant, I can’t help but be a little forgiving, though. It’s difficult to imagine a better control scheme on either the iPhone or iPad, as the control issues are somewhat inherent in using a touchscreen. Lastly, the removal of the level editor, which was in Jelly Car 2, is somewhat baffling. Where’d this go and why? It’d be a nice extra.

For a dollar, though, Jelly Car 3 is not a bad deal at all. Indeed, its low price point makes it an excellent bargain. This is the kind of game that you can pick up and play while you’re waiting in a long line or just trying to kill some time – even if it’s not much more than that.

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