Hill Climb Racing App Review

Hill Climb Racing App Review

Dec 20, 2012

If 2012 is known for anything in the world of apps it should be about the rise of the endless runner. Games like Temple Run have taken over the addiction throne from the usual skill/puzzle games like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds. The reason these games are so addictive is because no matter what there is never an end, and the game always ends on account of a mistake of the player. This mechanic is pretty much exactly what makes these games so addicting because they leave the player with this feeling that something is unfinished; that all they need to do is not make the same mistake and they will progress further. I do not mean to sound conceited or elitist but I find that it is hard for me to truly become addicted to mobile games. Sure, I will love them for a while but like a bachelor with commitment issues I quickly become bored and move on. This all changed when my girlfriend had me download Hill Climb Racing and this semester’s final grades might be a reflection of how much class time I spent engrossed in this game.

Instead of most endless runners which put the player above the action looking down this game operates very similar to those dirt bike flash games where the player controls the physics of a motorcycle rider over a turbulent terrain. The view is from the side and the goal is simply to advance as far as possible over 8 different rugged terrains. The catch here is that the basic jeep that is given to start with has terrible traction and struggles to get up even the most basic of hills. Combine this with a ever depleting gas meter and for the first few tries the jeep does not get very far. A standard coin system allows for upgrades to the vehicle as well as unlocking better vehicles and new maps. What is nice is that these upgrades are really well spread out and there are enough of them that a fully decked out car takes an amazingly long time to obtain even though it feels like it is being constantly upgraded.

With each upgrade the impact is noticeable and that is what makes the game so addicting because every unscalable hill is just one traction upgrade away from being just a bump in the road. Mountains that once seemed impossible at the beginning now are jumped over without the slightest thought. No matter how powerful the vehicle the player possess is it never feels overpowered, and yet the game never is viewed as cheap or unfair. Each level has checkpoints that give coin bonuses and it is a great feeling struggling to get to Level 6 and then suddenly cruising all the way to Level 9 in one go. Hill Climb Racing is one of the greatest games I have played on my Android device and I strongly recommend that it moves right to the top of any download list.

Fruit Roll Review

Fruit Roll Review

Nov 30, 2011

I love a game that has instructions in the title. Fruit Roll is a game wherein you are a piece of fruit, rolling along. As you go you collect stars and roll over opponents. It’s fantastically straight-forward – you don’t even control the speed or direction of the rolling. It’s very charming in its simplicity, and another favourite for playing on the bus.

Fruit Roll has no plot, but it really doesn’t need one. As mentioned, you play as a piece of fruit, and each stage begins with you rolling across the screen. You cannot stop rolling, but you are able to jump. Jumping allows you to target and collect stars along the path. There are various other (non-sentient) fruit along the path and collecting them has benefits. There are different obstacles/enemies along the way, and the type of fruit you are determines whether or not rolling into them will knock them off the screen or cause you to come to a teary-eyed halt. Collecting three fruit of the same kind is a combo and not only will you change into that fruit, but a giant, rampaging version of that fruit. You’ll destroy everything in your path and have a much better shot at grabbing stars since you’re four times your regular size. The combo will run out however and you will return to your original fruit size. Each level becomes more difficult as the incline down which you’re rolling increases and so you roll much faster and with less control over your movements – one wrong jump could send you flying into the hands of an angry monkey and end your turn abruptly.

I really like this game for its lack of story. The fruit does have and needs no motivation to run over the caterpillars and red frogs in its path. Snagging the stars as you fly across the screen is rather addictive, like the coins in Mario, and is motivation enough.

Running into an opponent that you are not classed to knock off screen causes you to “die” and you are back to the first stage with none of your stars to show for it. This is the game’s real weak spot, as the only gameplay mode you begin with is Adventure (continuous play). There is apparently a mini-game mode, but it can only be reached by collecting 10,000 stars. This would happen soon enough if dying didn’t completely erase your store of stars each time. At a certain point this can become frustrating enough that it dampens the enthusiasm needed to keep rolling along. The game is fun, but needs more reasons to keep coming back.