Checkpoint Champion Review

Checkpoint Champion Review

Feb 4, 2015

Checkpoint Champion is a cool new driving game that rewards careful, skilful driving. Taking control of cute SD versions of well-known cars the player weaves their way to greatness.

Checkpoint Champion is a great fit for mobile gaming. Using a simple control system, the player must weave their way through very short ten second challenges. These involve driving into checkpoints before time runs out. Each challenge features plenty of fiendish challenges like hairpin turns; handbrake turns, obstacles that need to be avoided and plain tough driving. Checkpoint Champion rewards precision and it is very satisfying to get a level right.

Screenshot_2015-01-31-19-36-58Each level is fun in its own way. For example Tornado has its checkpoints appear in a tight circle on a dirt surface. Since the player is driving in a small circle they kick up a lot of spiraling dust, hence the level’s name. Another involves slaloming though slippery mud and another has your car driving very fast around a tree without hitting it in a level aptly called Ring A Rosy. Every level is different and the game never gets dull.

Like most games of this type each level gives the player a rating from 1-3 stars. Unlocking new cars requires a certain amount of stars and getting three stars is of course where the real game lies. Checkpoint Champion can be very difficult but this difficulty never feels unfair. Completing each level isn’t too hard, it’s getting the best rank that really provides the challenge.

A game that demands precision like Checkpoint Champion needs great controls and thankfully the game delivers on that. Holding either the left or right side half of the screen steers in that direction while holding both uses your turbo. The control system feels very sharp and well made.

The game also uses your Google+ profile to display scores from friends which is always fun and motivates you to beat them.

Screenshot_2015-01-31-20-54-09Checkpoint Champion has no IAP to speak of. All cars and their paintjobs can be unlocked by simply playing the game and there is no nasty energy meters or other restrictions. The sole piece of IAP in the game is a $1.99 purchase to remove the ads and unlock a few Prostar paintjobs. This is a great change from the freemium choked cesspit that is the Google Play store. Bravo Prostar.

Checkpoint Champion looks very good. The cars on offer are cute versions of well-known cars. The Levin/Trueno in particular is cool looking. A lot of additional paint jobs can be unlocked by completing goals in games. The sound is really good as well. Some very, very catchy music pumps away in the background and the car’s motor sound and effects for collecting checkpoints are just fine.

Checkpoint Champion is a fun and addictive game with plenty of content for $0. With no nasty freemium and excellent gameplay on offer everyone should get a lot out of Checkpoint Champion.

Mouth Off Review

Originally for the iPhone, and now for Android, Mouth Off is a set of 36 different animated mouths that move to the sound of your voice. The mouths include; dogs, robots, bunnies, monsters, cats, sharks, and lego minifigs. This app seems pretty straight forward, but believe it or not, this was one of the apps I missed the most when I moved to Android from the iPhone. Why?

1) My nieces and nephews love it. When I say “love it,” I don’t mean “strongly like.” I mean it in the “go absolutely bonkers, laughing, screaming, and running around the house” sort of “love it.” Being crowned as “Coolest Uncle Ever” by a seven-year-old is worth far more than the asking price of $0.99.
2) Once I was in a restaurant, and a kid was doing that annoying standing up in the booth behind my wife, and staring directly at me. I pulled out my phone, and had that kid laughing and giggling. Good times.
3) I once used the “robot” mouth on a costume involving sticky Velcro, boxes spray-painted silver, and drier vent tubing for arms.

You should buy “Mouth Off” if:

1) You’re got children, or are an aunt or uncle to young children.
2) You realize that this app is funny for about 30 seconds to your 20-something friends, and should not be pulled out at every party you go to.
3) You also realize that some kids (for me, one particular niece) will be so freakishly terrified or your animated mouths, that you’ll be apologizing to their mother for the crying child now sobbing into their shoulder.

I’ve really enjoyed this app, and was glad to see it on Android. It is certainly not perfect, of course. The mouths move to the sound picked up by the microphone, so in noisy environments, the mouths won’t react to your voice, or will be very jittery. Also, at over 9 megs, and no ability to move it to your phone’s SD card (only for froyo phones), you might might need to pass on this one if you’re squeezed for space.