Beach Buggy Blitz Review

Beach Buggy Blitz Review

Nov 29, 2012

Racing and driving fans will want to give Beach Buggy Blitz a spin.

If the graphics and gameplay carry a hint of familiarity, it’ll be because the hand of developer Vector Unit (of Riptide fame) is clearly evident. For me, that made this game worth checking out.

The graphics are nice, allowing for a whimsical take on beach craft with matching environment. The buildings, water and trees were rendered well, and the interactions (like running into structures and/or foliage) retained a degree of realism that made the game even more likable. I liked that the resolution of the graphics could be adjusted. The animations were sharp, and sounds popped.

The gameplay ostensibly involved me driving my buggy at high speed against the clock. If I got to a check point before running out of time, I earned more race time; the race ended if I couldn’t get to said checkpoint. Along the way, I accumulate points by traveling further and striking coins when they appeared, and avoiding huts, trees, cave walls, water and even birds.

I noticed that driving faster allowed me to catch up to hitherto unseen racers; battling them was a contact sport, and added another layer of fun and complexity to the game. Again, the physics of the action was fairly believable, and it was cool to maneuver for position while flying down the sand.

Back to coins: coins also gave me purchasing power in the in-app store. There were drivers, upgrades and vehicles to be had. Of course, real cash could expedite the process of getting goodies, but I was able to earn coins at a decent rate by just racing.

To echo myself in an earlier review, I felt whiny about the lack of multiplayer functionality. Again, this is a game that demands it. Still, I found that racing the clock amongs friends was a nice option, and I made use of it.

BBB is another lovable title from Vector Unit, and is the perfect beach getaway for Christmastime.

Acceler8 Review

Acceler8 Review

Jan 5, 2012

As I believe I have mentioned before, I’m a terrible (video game) driver, meaning my total lack of steering skills has me constantly crashing into barriers. Acceler8 is different though, in that you and the rugged little cars are not racing on tracks, but on open dusty plains and dunes. And when a giant hill gets in your way you can always drive over it. Very satisfying.

At first it appears that there is not much new in concept, that it is your standard racing game. But the difference becomes apparent when you see the vehicles. Low cabs, aerodynamic frames, and giant tires. These vehicles just look like are meant to be driven in the desert. They want to go up cliff faces and down into valleys. And luckily the developers have made all of that possible.

They’ve been quite creative with the different tracks, making use of different climates and scenarios. One is an ice-covered landscape which will challenge your handling skills. Another has a cross-over which can lead to hilarious accidents. And another has you facing oncoming traffic. There are even night time races, with the stars shining overhead.

The game controls are exactly what you’d expect. Tilt to turn, with the option to adjust sensitivity to compensate for your own comfort level. For example I have a tendency to flail a bit when I play, so I needed to tone down the responsiveness to stop it from being just tragic.
You can choose your cars based on their handling/speed capabilities, and winning races earns you the cash needed to buy better, stronger vehicles. You also must unlock each successive track to play it, so there is always a goal for you to reach.

I’m such a big fan of the “screw it, I’m going over” attitude toward racing that I’m very glad the developers have made that possible. The cars are fun to drive, and the landscapes look very gritty and real.

It’s unfortunate though that the graphics processing speed needed to keep up with the cars just isn’t there. I had no problems when doing time trials, but as soon as I began racing other cars the graphics suddenly got very stilted and blocky. In fact the ground under each car literally became a glitchy block of colour. Perhaps have improvements are in order.