Developer: Polarbit
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Unless I’m driving a cart capable of shooting turtle shells, sporting a moustache Tom Selleck would envy, I was never a big fan of the racing genre. While I do enjoy the “rush” some of these games provide, I find the over-abundance of games currently offered in the genre and the over-kill of accessories/tuning options an intimidating “turn-off.”

Fortunately, for people like me, Polarbit developed/created Raging Thunder 2, an arcade racer follow-up to its predecessor, Raging Thunder. According to my research staff, i.e. me reviewing app store/website reviews, Raging Thunder was a “like-it-or-love-it” success, lacking many features present/available in its current predecessor, such as true multiplayer, a variety of different levels/tracks and vehicles/vehicle accessory options, etc.

Pixelbite Games/Polarbit’s updated sequel to their original is a self-appraised effort, showing Polarbit took its lumps, regrouped and responded with a quality successor: It had the technology to build Raging Thunder better, stronger, faster…

According to the developer, Raging Thunder 2 contains several updated/improved features:

  • Stunning, console quality 3D graphics
  • Internet and local cross-platform multiplayer racing
  • Fast paced, intense game play
  • Accessible and intuitive controls
  • 5 different single player game modes

Untitled1Raging Thunder 2’s graphics are beautiful and immerse players in an array of gorgeous vistas all over the world (complete with secret shortcuts and lined with various “power-ups,”), such as underground volcanoes, tropical beaches and abandoned temples, providing players with a beautiful, vibrant, fun game play experience.

The game’s music track and sound effects are both quality and well-developed. The sounds of the game’s racing elements, such as crashes, tire screeches,

boosts, etc. integrate nicely with the sound track. Players also have the option to turn music/effects off.

Raging Thunder 2’s control scheme is the only aspect of the game that bothered me, but not enough to influence its “fun factor.” Controls are accelerometer-based and there are no alternative control options, i.e. touch. Players are offered several ways to customize game play controls to their liking, however, such as the option to adjust tilt-sensitivity, brake power, auto-gas and auto-boost, etc. Untitled5I’m horrible with accelerometer-based controls, but was able to tweak my settings to enable me to race in a confident, competent manner. Players can also upgrade their vehicles using money won in races and found as “power-ups” along the tracks. Die-hard fans of the genre looking for overly-detailed vehicles/vehicle upgrades may be disappointed, but I found the upgrade “balance” more than sufficient.

Raging Thunder 2’s game play is smooth and vigorous. Its furious sense of speed/motion is well-balanced and “turbo” boosts provide players with a perfect level of control that is neither overwhelming nor uncontrollable. It nicely incorporates the furious, high speed game play of an arcade racer with those quality tenets found within successful “kart racer” titles. That said, Raging Thunder 2 is not an “easy” game and certain tracks can prove difficult to beat.

Untitled3As previously mentioned, Raging Thunder 2, in addition to online, multi-player mode, offers 5 different single-player game modes: Time Attack, where players race against the clock, Survival, where the player that’s last each lap is eliminated, Career Mode, Single Race, where players race a single stage against AI opponents and Arcade, where players play through all stages without letting their timer reach “zero.” This variety of modes, combined with the game’s online multiplayer feature adds significant replay value to the title. Online play, however, lacks online leader boards, personal rankings, etc., features Polarbit should incorporate into future updates. Be forewarned, however: Don’t play online until you’ve “beefed up” your vehicle of choice, or you will be repeatedly “served.”

In all, Raging Thunder 2 is a solid, polished arcade racer that’s fun to play and worth its price. Despite its flaws, it’s a strong, viable contender, in a competitive genre, which offers a variety of different game modes and features that will have its players returning over and again. If you love arcade racers, Raging Thunder 2 is one of the best available for the iPhone/iPod Touch platform.

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