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Word Derby Review

Posted by Rob Rich on December 4th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.2
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

[rating:overall]

The iOS world has seen its fair share of word game hybrids that encompass virtually every conceivable combination out there. And yet, new ones are still popping up. New ones like Word Derby that partner spelling with what can best be described as “those weird racing games at carnivals where people spray water at tiny targets to make their rider on a stick go faster.” It’s as unlikely a pairing as I could imagine, and yet it works exceedingly well.

The ultimate goal of Word Derby is to just have fun competing with other players. Sure there are some riders (many with special abilities) that can be unlocked but the real focus in simply on playing. Experience is earned and levels are gained with each turn taken that provide players with special profile badges to show off, but they’re just for show. The race is the thing here. Once a match is set up (between 2 and 4 players) and a bet placed (players bet tickets; the game’s all important currency), both players are given a small set of jumbled letters and are tasked with spelling something. The first letter is locked in, however, and all players’ turns are submitted simultaneously, which not only complicates things but penalizes the submission of two of the same word with zero points. It can happen, believe me.

Word Derby’s presentation is pretty neat in that it’s like an adorable cartoon carnival game. The characters are weird and cute at the same time, and everything just seems “friendly.” Playing it is also a lot of fun, which surprises me a little since I was a bit wary of the simultaneous turns thing. But it adds an element of excitement to each round. “Did the other person find the same word I did? Did they find a better one? Are they using a power-up to boost their chances?” As does the bonus points meter that gets more and more empty the longer a turn takes to complete. But those power-ups, wow. What’s clever about their implementation is that none of them are game winners, they can only be used once per game, and players have to pay for each use with their own tickets. So no spamming and no decided advantage for players with a larger bankroll.

It’s unfortunate that Word Derby can only be played with an online connection (i.e. no subway play), but that’s sort of how it goes with multiplayer-only games. And while the inclusion of a pass-and-play option is nice, it’s fairly pointless when the game needs an online connection to simply start up. Still, once a game (or several) is going it can be plenty of fun. Especially earning the ticket pot after coming in first.

UNIVERSAL

Jet Trains Rushing To The App Store For December

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on November 27th, 2012

Realore, the folks behind the Roads of Rome series of games, today announced a new competitive arcade racer with, you guessed it, jet trains. Check out the trailer below; the game will release in December.

Jet Trains takes place in a world of gangs and rivals where players take on the role of the son of the gang's leader that was killed in a race. In the chaos that followed, the gang split into separate groups, with members of each fighting for control of the gang, and the ultimate position as best racer. In this environment players must embark on numerous missions, face off against challenging bosses, customize their trains, and execute outrageous stunts in order to be the first across the finish line.

Skyriders Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Dale Culp on November 2nd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FAST AND FANTASTIC
High-speed thrill seekers will have plenty of fun with this one. Race through 40 challenging tracks filled with obstacles, gaps and other hazards.
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Carmageddon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on October 18th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: START YOUR ENG-AAAAAHHH!!!
Does the move from classic PC game to iOS port suit this little piece of ghoulish nostalgia?
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Pocket Trucks Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Angela LaFollette on September 10th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: HECK YEAH
Pocket Trucks is a side scrolling physics racer that is almost impossible to stop playing.
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Shaun the Sheep - Fleece Lightning Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 26th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SHEAR RACING
Britain's stop-motion ovis aries goes for the gold in this unorthodox barnyard racer.
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Ion Racer Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on March 30th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ENDLESS RACER
Ion Racer takes mission-driven progress and combines it with third-person racing to great effect.
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Reckless Racing 2 Review

Posted by Greg Dawson on February 3rd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Pixelbite
Price: $4.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar

[rating:overall]

There is a reason the original Reckless Racing received an Editor's Choice nod from 148Apps when it first debuted at the end of 2010. It was pure, feel-like-a-kid-again racing with slick controls and fast cars. Reckless Racing 2 is even better. This third-person racer now has more tracks, more modes and more excitement.

I'm sure from a developer's standpoint racing games with their quick movements are probably one of the most difficult genres to develop. Not only do they have to dial in hairpin turns, they also have to make the driver feel like every turn they make is on a dime. Lag is a racer's worst enemy. The silky smooth physics of Reckless Racing 2 are phenomenal. The car reacts to every touch in an instance without lagging, jigging or chopping along. It's like butter.

The amount of gameplay is impressive with 24 routes of dirt and street options as well as several modes to choose from, including career, arcade, single, and multiplayer. While I tested out all thoroughly, I'd have to say I got the most out of career and multiplayer.

Career offered a ton of racing, points, achievements and leaderboard runs while multiplayer gave me the bragging rights (not all the time) of taking pinks against human racers. The one negative I noticed was that the other opponents ghosted in and out and there was a light chop every once in a while. However, it's most likely do to varying reception issues.

One of the best additions to the newer version is the larger and better selection vehicles and upgrades one can choose from, which is 18 to be exact. They all look very similar to some of the best American muscle and high-end import cars. The upgrades, which can be purchased in the garage, are the usual speed, handling and acceleration options. Some tournaments have specific upgrade requirements and will not let the player race otherwise.

Reckless Racing 2 improves on all of the original game's features and adds several more goodies such as career mode and car customization. This all combines to make it the best "rubbin's racin'" game on the App Store.

RPM: Gymkhana Racing Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on November 18th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SLIPPERY
RPM: Gymkhana Racing does racing a little different: with a focus on timed runs, bonus track challenges and lots of drifting.
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Take to the Skies and Aim for First Place in Ikaro Racing HD

Posted by Rob Rich on October 19th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

NuOxygen has just released "The Racing 3D Flight Simulator," Ikaro Racing HD for iOS devices, and it's looking pretty neat. Players will race through a diverse set of environments (and 22 tracks), from sprawling cities to winding canyons, jockeying for first place. It won't be easy, but it makes winning that much more satisfying.

The game is designed to steadily increase in difficulty, so that players adjust naturally to the curve. It's meant to be more pleasant than panic-inducing, with cameras that highlight the beauty of the landscape or the details of the planes so that the visuals can truly be appreciated. Of course, spending too much time drinking in the details are a good way to end up face-planting into an obstacle. A danger that becomes even more real when the dynamic weather system opts to replace those clears skies with a thunderstorm.

Ikaro Racing HD was designed with the iPad 2 in mind, but it's also available for most other iOS devices. It just requires some tweaking in the options menu first. Aspiring air jockeys can grab it off of the App Store right now for free.

Ionocraft Racing Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on June 30th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: STEAMY
Ionocraft Racing is a genuinely thrilling and addictive racer, even if it can feel a little empty.
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Ducati Challenge Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Bobby Gooding on June 10th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: BEST IN CLASS
Any bikers out there? Ducati Challenge offers up a top-class motorcycle racer that can be played by all.
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Sideways Racing Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on June 8th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: EXHILARATING
Classic top down racing with a techno punk vibe
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Jelly Car 3 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Phillip Levin on February 18th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SQUISHY
Here's what happens when you combine cars, jelly and platforming.
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Cubed Rally Racer Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jason Fanguy on July 17th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: RAD RETRO RACER
With a multitude of additional features, such as the ability to challenge friends via OpenFeint, a wide variety of different track elements and the ability to unlock up to 99 different sections, this nostalgic throwback crosses the checkered flag a winner
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