Disc Drivin' Review

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 10th, 2011

Developer: Pixelocity Software
Price: $2.99 (Free Version Available)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar


Disc Drivin' is a game whose immediate goal might not be apparent; the easiest way to explain the game is that it is like Mario Kart crossed with Words With Friends. You and your opponents take turns sliding your disc across the tracks, replete with tricky turns, turbo boosts, and powerup icons. The Words with Friends-esque element comes from the turn-based gameplay; when you take your turn, your opponent then takes theirs, and so on until someone completes 3 laps and wins the race. The game supports up to 8 players in either hotseat or local wifi multiplayer, and up to 4 people online, with push notifications notifying you when it is your turn.

There's a reason why I describe this as being similar to Words With Friends in particular, and it is because Disc Drivin' is just as addictive and viral as that game was around its popularity peak. If you start up one game, you'll quickly find yourself wanting to start up more and more, and anxiously waiting for your opponents to make their moves so you can play some more. The physics engine with the discs adds to the fun, as wacky things can happen when you hit ramps, bombs or other discs; there is plenty that can happen when discs go flying to cause you to shout for joy or shriek in error. You never know what you'll see next. That, and just the whole addictive and surprisingly fast-paced nature of the asynchronous multiplayer, is what makes this one a gem.

While Disc Drivin' provides a lot of courses, many of them don't do a lot to distinguish themselves from one another, particularly the courses with a lot of twists and turns that tend to blend together. As well, the games in these courses can take a while to play as the pace of the game starts to slow around curves. The game comes in free and paid versions, and the free version suffers from some bugs with the ads that are displayed between turns; in particular, errors tend to happen if you get a push notification while an app are displayed. Also, the game can be very unfriendly to new players; some form of tutorial to explain the game's functions would help out a lot. As well, player discovery is limited to searching email contacts or manual username search; Game Center matchmaking would be a huge help for player discovery. The game supports the Retina Display, but iPad support would be much appreciated as well.

Beyond these flaws, though, Disc Drivin' is easily one of the most addictive games I have ever played on iOS. it has me constantly checking my iPod touch for new moves, and wishing I could have more than the maximum 20 games at once. This is an absolute must-download. Check out the free version first, then pick up the $2.99 ad-free version.

UPDATE: Since the original review, both the free and paid version have been updated to 1.2, helping to iron out glitches mentioned in the original review, as well as adding functionality for one-click rematches, a recent player list, and random player matchmaking. AS well, the developers have mentioned exploring other features, such as video sharing, Game Center, and new courses, that may come at some point in the future.

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