Mobile Games Roundup • Page 2

D.A.R.K! Reckless! Rainbow! Pinball! CurveBot!

Reckless Getaway

  • iPhone/iPad: 1.99 (Universal app)

If you took Polarbit's description of its latest effort at face value, you might be concerned for your own wellbeing. Not least because of the claim of 'eye popping' visuals; I'm not entirely sure I want my eyes popped, thanks.

We're also advised to watch out for visual amazement, and chaos being taken to "another level". I think I quite enjoy regular chaos, if that's OK, chaps. Let's face it; none of us are getting any younger.

Unlike the entertaining Reckless Racing, this cop-smashing affair makes you work hard for your little victories. The idea is to cause as much destructive chaos as you can, but pulling it off without getting yourself into a succession of scrapes is another matter entirely.

Part of its frantic appeal is to figure out the optimal escape route by hitting the jumps, scooping up the coins, and dispensing the power-ups with point-scoring efficiency. Manage that without continually blowing up or going off the track and you'll be awarded all four stars. Play as haplessly as me, and you'll continually struggle to unlock the next tier.

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When regular hilarity just doesn't cut it anymore.

On the upside, being skill deficient means having to go back and actually learn how to play the game - a facet that lends it the necessary replay value.

Once you're in the zone, it starts to feel like a slapstick top-down Burnout. And if you don't feel like paying for that, maybe you should have your eyes popped.

7/10

CurveBot

  • iPhone/iPad: 1.49.

If you're a plucky indie start-up, and you're wondering why no-one's interested in your amazing new game, here's an easy shortcut: insert the words 'Qix-inspired' somewhere in your press release, sit back, and watch the coverage roll in.

It doesn't even have to be true. You could just create a fantastic backstory about tormented badgers and their ongoing territorial struggle with neighbouring hedgehogs.

In CurveBot's case, developers Elpixo has come up with a textbook example by creating a weird robot thing on valiant a mission to rescue his fiery friends from the dreaded drones.

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Qixotic.

What that means in practice, of course, is the need to carve away chunks of the landmass until only a few per cent surrounding them is left.

If you've ever played Qix, or the many millions of games that want to be its friend, you'll know that you start off on the perimeter, and have to essentially draw a line from one of the edges to another to claim a chunk. It works slightly differently here, though. Rather than claim land, once you carve a slice off it drops away, leaving you with an ever-decreasing blob of land to skirt around.

But while Qix exists in an abstract top-down view befitting a videogame from 1982, CurveBot views the action from a comparatively lavish third-person 3D.

This turns out to be both a good and a bad thing, sadly. Good in the sense that it looks rather lovely, bad in that your field of view is hopelessly limited - and in a game where drones are constantly trying to halt your progress, not being able to judge exactly when something is about to crash into your line is a bit of a deal-breaker.

At first, it's just a mild irritation, but the further you progress into this 60-level affair, the more aggressive the drones become and the more it starts to aggravate you when you can't see what to avoid. If the imminent update does indeed address this, this could be the 3D Qix your perverted imagination has been hankering after all these years.

7/10

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