148Apps Network Post
Developer: NewFX Games
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 1

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Mad Wheels HD is a combat racing game published by Chillingo and NewFX Games, developers of Horror Racing, a similar isometric racer. Unlike Horror Racing, this game runs in a 3D engine, although the goal of Mad Wheels is largely the same: the player and three opponents race around 24 different tracks, using weapons like machine guns, missiles, mines, and vehicle-specific weapons to wreak havoc on opponents to try and win the race by way of damaging them.

Mad Wheels HD brings a bit of variety to its races, with quicker races that favor getting out ahead, combat races that are designed so that racers can blow each other up a bunch of time, and even knockout races where the last place racer is knocked out. The game also is setup very well for jumping ahead to other levels as long as enough medals are collected; secondary objectives can help collect additional medals for unlocking future levels. The game’s joystick controls work well for controlling the racers around the track.

Here’s the thing about Mad Wheels HD; it’s just kind of soulless. The style of the game is generic with little that makes it stand out from other games. Even the levels are hopelessly generic forest, desert, and snow environments. Does it detract from the core gameplay? Not necessarily, but when the game just looks and feels bland, it’s harder to make a connection to it. The combat part of this racing game feels largely like a mild annoyance because it really only knocks enemies out for a couple of seconds, and is only made important by way of medals that are earned for combat. Otherwise, it kind of feels like a waste of time. What made combat worth focusing on in a very similar game, Death Rally, was the permanence of it. It just isn’t worrisome at all here. As well, there’s a wifi multiplayer feature in the game, but it could really use Game Center for inviting other players. The description claims it’s online-enabled, but I never found anyone online to test the game out with.

Mad Wheels HD is a decent game, but there’s just nothing too special about it, sadly. Fans of combat racing games might enjoy this one, but this is hardly the best game in its genre, either. Horror Racing from the same developer is free as of when this review was written; go check that out!

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