Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
LINGsCARS is one of the best representations of the new kind of advergame, games designed primarily to hawk some other product. Like the Burger King and Doritos games before it, LINGsCARS hopes that it can lure in potential new customers by simply being as strange as possible. While that’s pretty much as insidious as it sounds, it’s strange in a way that is still worth observing if one can manage to avoid the trap.
LINGsCARS is actually just an alternate version of Stunt Guy, another Kempt game from a few months ago, and the gameplay remains unchanged. As the player’s car hurdles down a crowded, endless highway at full speed, it is up to the player to steer it left and right and cause as many crashes as possible while avoiding deadly head-on collisions. When crashes start chaining together the police start setting up barricades and cars start bumping around the field in more erratic patterns. Mutual destruction becomes inevitable even with the defense boosting power-ups and snappy, satisfying controls. The game is divided into levels and players earn cash for better scores but all that really matters is the chaos and carnage. It’s like a simplified, shallower take on Burnout Crash.
What sets LINGsCARS apart though is all of the insane branding for Ling Valentine, the character strapped to the rocket-powered player vehicle, and her real-life UK car dealership. Much like Valentine’s website, the game has an art style and soundtrack that are equal parts energetic and ridiculous. It’s like a cross between a grade-schooler’s doodle-filled notebook and Tim and Eric’s nightmare version of public access television. While it may seem stupid and distracting at first though, it ends up nicely complimenting the nihilistic and frenetic gameplay while masking how basic it ultimately is.
Buyer beware, LINGsCARS is a crazy and kind of devious game/piece of marketing. However, wrecking cars for fun is a crazy thing to do. It only makes sense then that they all manage to come together this well.