Riptide GP2 Review

Riptide GP2 Review

Jul 24, 2013

When it comes to game sequels, it can be tough to follow successful titles. Some development houses (looking at you, Rovio) seem to do it so effortlessly.

Well, add veteran development house Vector Unit to the short list, because Riptide GP2 brings it in a big way.

Riptide GP2 is one of those games that come by only so often. It somehow recreates the magic in the original installment and spits out a sexier product. It starts with the graphics; there is so much action trapped in the pixels. The artwork is superbly done, with excellent use of perspective angles. The water comes across as quite life-like, and the visual representation of stuff like spray and battling racers is animation at its best. The sound rip1effects are just as appropriate. It’s a highly enjoyable feast for the senses.

The gameplay is fluid, and it brings to mind Vin Diesel on jetskis. Set on different courses, the player gets to race against other hydro jet racers on specially crafted waterways. The raceways do have a realistic but arcade-y feel, with the windy paths and jump-inducing ramps. The ramps open up the possibility of the cool mid-air stunts, which are invoked by multitouch gestures. The game’s career mode is full featured too, with XP to be obtained for performance.

Which brings us to the upgrade mechanism… equipment can be upgraded, and as progress is made through career mode, upgrades are needed to be continually competitive. Game cash (as well as the aforementioned XP) can be garnered by good finishes in the races, and real cash can be used to augment earned cash, but isn’t necessarily required. With other elements like an interactive tutorial, online competition and Google cloud functionality added in, the game becomes even more compelling.

All in all, it’s a fine reboot that does the burgeoning franchise very well. This game is a keeper, and is one of the best sims around.

Sprinkle Islands Review

Sprinkle Islands Review

Jul 16, 2013

App developer Mediocre likes jokes. You can tell from its name, as the games it makes are usually far from it. Sprinkle Islands is no different in this regard. It is yet another well-thought out water physics puzzler that incorporates a lot of the same elements from other games in the Mediocre stable.

The main piece of equipment is an interestingly looking fire truck-like contraption that looks like it was designed by Dr Seuss. At the back of the vehicle, there is a water jet hosted on a retractable crane. The crane water cannon’s angle and height can be adjusted to affect the direction of water.sprink2

The different levels generally involve extinguishing fires before they consume nearby huts, and before the water supply runs out. Putting out the fires usually involves a bit more than just directing a stream of water at the blazes.

To understand this, visualizing the layout is key. The huts are laid out high on hills and in “natural” caverns. There are also bridges and buttons that can be manipulated with boulders of different shapes. So, blazes need to be put out, and the vehicle moves on to the next stage. If and when gaps in the path occur, blasts of water can be used to re-arrange wood and rock to make makeshift bridges, or to operate the buttons that open sliding doors and/or invoke pulley lifts that allow for further movement. Further in the game, you get stuff like boats and fire fauna.

As noted, the water supply is exhaustible, and there are time constraints too; taking too much time to solve a fiery puzzle can cause a hut to be completely razed, which causes the level to be failed. Levels can be repeated, and more points are awarded for using less water.

The use of color is pretty subtle; the animations are good enough to get the ideas across. The blue skies contrast great with the village and greenery, and the addition of water bodies add some realism to the look.

This game is easy to like across generations. It simple and very appealing.

Riptide Review

Riptide Review

Oct 4, 2012

Warning: Riptide induces adrenaline. Ask a doctor before engaging.

I am not exaggerating. It packs in jet skis, water, superb graphics and realistic physics with good old-fashioned arcade racing and comes out with an exciting, white-knuckled game that makes me struggle to remember that I am not physically spraying white foam in my wake.

I thought the developer put in a good amount of time into gameplay. I mean, how many ways can one cut a racing game? Well, Vector started by giving me three game modes: Championship, Race and Hot Play. I found that Hot Play was perfect for training runs, as I raced against myself. It gave me an opportunity to check my lap times and to see which jet skis handled the best. The Race mode gave me the opportunity to race against the virtual foes. I found the controls easy, as motion input translated to movement in the game.

With multiple machines and scenes to unlock, there was plenty of stuff to explore, and a continual excuse to race more. With OpenFeint compatibility, achievements can be shared online for bragging rights, and this is a feature I really, really liked. Different machines had different capabilities and ratings; some accelerated better, while some had better handling and/or speed. I found it to be a reassuring touch of reality.

Nestled in the Help & Options area were the Settings and How To Play teasers. The former allowed me to adjust graphics, audio and control sensitivity. The latter gave me tips with regards to how to control my machine, access boosts and stunts.

To make Riptide even more attractive, Vector Unit had the foresight to make it compatible with game controllers. Thus, I could enhance my experience with my DLNA- enabled device and literally go big.

All in all, I found Riptide an exciting foray into a familiar genre. For a racing game that is a cut above the norm, I suggest giving it a spin.