Developer: Disney
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Back when iPhone games were in their infancy, it was tough to convince people that they should have to pay money to play something that was fun. No matter how many Time Crisis’ and Rolando’s I would download, my friends would just scoff and then return to Jelly Car. The simplicity of the app, along with the cartoonish graphics were just too much for people to pass up on. Or I suppose that it could’ve been the free price. People liked that.

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Now we have JellyCar 2, and it is dominating the App Store just like the first JellyCar did. Gone are the free days though, as Disney is the new publisher… and Disney needs a return on investment. It’s only 99 cents right now, but free is definitely missed. Once you get into the game though, it is more of the same, but now with four game modes to freshen it up.

The standard game, now called ‘Classic Mode’, is exactly what it was last time. There are three difficulty levels, giving you enough gameplay to satisfy even the most demanding Jelly Car aficionado. Each level sees you up against a smattering of moving platforms, seemingly unscalable vertical walls, and of course more than enough pits of doom. Your car, just like before, can be driven by either holding the left or the right side of the screen. Tapping the car still makes it get extremely large… everything is pretty much the same except for the addition of two power-ups. The first one is a ‘sticky wheel’ power up, which gives you sticky wheels, letting you crawl up steep surfaces. The second is the balloon, which floats you up in the air on a balloon.

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The other three modes are definitely of lesser value, and consist of ‘Factory Mode’, ‘Custom Mode’ (level editor), and ‘Long Jump Mode’. “Factory Mode’ is an odd insertion into the game. I would sort of liken ‘Factory Mode’ to a game of controlled Plinko, where you siphon off Tetris pieces into the corresponding piece area. There’s really no good way to explain it, as the game really has little point and held my attention for about 30 min. tops. The other mode is ‘Long Jump’, which is a long jump (I know, shocker). You start each level on a huge ramp and progress through a maze of things, some of which speed you up, some of which are just annoying. Eventually you get to the end of the platform, where you launch way in the air in an attempt to beat your old high score.

While the graphics and sound point at an app geared towards kids, the difficulty will make you think differently. Long before I reached the hard levels of the game, I was frustrated because of an evil combo of insane level design and a difficult control scheme. My Jelly Car always seems to end up upside down or smashed between two blocks, and I really don’t think that it’s because I’m bad at the game. Needless to say, expect a challenge. Jelly Car 2 will drive you nuts.

The bottom line is that if you enjoyed Jelly Car 1, you’ll like this one. If you hate Jelly Car 1 with a fiery passion… then stay away.

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