Version Reviewed: 1.24
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Drag racing with trains. It sounds so simple yet I can't think of another example of it, probably because trains aren't often considered as exciting and speedy vehicles like a sports car would be. That's exactly what Jet Trains offers, pitting a number of trains against each other in a race to get to the end of the track first.
There's a story in there, with players controlling the son of a leader of a train racing gang, killed by an evil rival. It's as outlandish as it sounds, but it's the gameplay that will keep players drawn in. Like any good drag racing game, the initial focus is on starting speedily. A boost button has to be tapped at just the right moment in order to go flying ahead at the start, something that proves especially important during early races.
Other controls are just as simple with up and down arrows dictating which track the train switches to, and a different boost button that can be used once a certain number of go faster power-ups have been accrued. For larger fingers, the buttons might be a little small, especially when the action is heating up, but it works reasonably well.
Along each track are a series of obstacles such as left over train carriages or the end of a track, meaning that players have to switch around frequently. This also adds a satisfying level of strategy as it's possible to force the opposition into the path of such a blockage, thereby stopping them for a brief time. Ramps can also be used to jump over competitors and even land on top of them.
This level of strategy goes a long way to ensuring that Jet Trains is a highly enjoyable game. There are plenty of levels to progress through with a customary three star grading system offering reasons to return. An upgrade system goes one step further in offering variety, by allowing players to buy new items or even new trains in order to get the edge on the opposition. Curiously, I found Jet Trains getting stuck in a loop of offering me 10,000 coins for downloading the latest update for it. This proved particularly useful in the early stages of the game, although I suspect it's a glitch that will be fixed shortly!
Jet Trains is a nice twist on a familiar genre and a rather enjoyable title. Its Steampunk nature helps all the more with giving it a sense of originality and personality. Shame about the lack of iPhone 5 support, though.