Developer: Minority Media Inc.
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
App Reviewed on: iPad mini Retina

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

In Loco Motors, players must help a variety of weird and wonderful characters reach the finish line of some particularly haphazard courses, customizing their vehicles in whichever way they see fit in order to do so. Much like Bad Piggies, customization is key to success, but on a whole other level here. A unique vehicle of different height, power, and structure is needed in order to clear the obstacles, jumps, and gradients of each track.

IMG_0031It’s a lot of fun putting together each vehicle, assessing how the fuel tanks, the engine, and the player themselves will impact on the weight distribution and its overall effectiveness. Luckily the game keeps the editing process simple: a swipe of the finger (and some handy guidelines) is all that’s needed for design and construction. The editor can be called up at any time too, so players can get straight back into the action after a necessary touch-up or addition. As time goes on they’ll accumulate coins and unlock better components, helping them to collect all 3 cogs on each track.

As for the actual gameplay, players only need to set the initial speed of their cart by dragging back on a pulley at the beginning of each track. Whether they make it to the end of the course and cross that finish line (with a shiny cog in tow) depends on how well they’ve equipped their racer. They can judge this by swiping around the level and zooming in and out for a better perspective on things at any time they see fit during play. Fortunately this is often a pleasure thanks to the eye-catching visuals, though the level design can become repetitive after a while.

IMG_0034Loco Motors is a game that I could play for weeks. The fact that the individual cogs on each track can often necessitate a compete overhaul means there’s plenty of replay value and reasons to return. It’s a game that rewards creative players by letting them experiment to their heart’s content. There’s nothing like it out there in that respect, so I highly recommended giving it a download.

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