App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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Climbing hills have been a fun style of gameplay since the Trials franchise perfected it on PC many moons ago. Several iOS titles have made their own passing attempts to recreate the fun, with rather mixed results. Offroad Legends is hoping to also take aim at the genre as well, while still providing a feel that is all its own. Does this monster truck have the gas necessary to get out of the starting blocks, or is it already running on fumes?
Equal parts physics puzzler and time-trial racing, Offroad Legends is all about testing the player's will to persevere. Where similar games like Trails revolve around trying to complete a race without killing the driver, Legends instead opts to merely maim vehicles of several different varieties. Just imagine trying to drive a tractor trailer though a hilly mountain pass. This is not the kind of event that even the most skilled drivers would be able to limp away from, so expect to have vehicles dismantled on at least a semi-frequent basis. (No pun intended!)
The difficulty curve is one of the best parts of the game. Early on it eases players into the idea that they will be racing against both the clock and their vehicle's health bar. Steadily stage-by-stage the challenge level gets ratcheted up, and with it, the amount of concentration necessary to be successful. Better yet, when players fail at a level, it never feels cheap. Every failure can be traced back to a dumb decision made at some point in the event, that ultimately resulted in their downfall.
One key component of the gameplay is that it utilizes leaderboards extensively to provide endless replayability. Players can constantly go back and re-visit stages in hopes of snagging a better time than some other poor schlub on their friends list. Really, the "maybe one more try," aspect of the gameplay is what legitimately can steal hours from your life, so tread carefully.
While it may not be the most visually stimulating or even mechanically impressive game on the platform, Offroad Legends proves to be the ideal game for an iOS gamer. It could effortlessly help burn away a few spare minutes or just as easily suck away hours of battery life. No matter what your playstyle, you will not regret the investment. Start your ENGINES!