iPhone Game Review: Fumes Stunt Racer
Reviewed by ninjackid
I'm sure that everyone reading this review has at least heard of, if not actually played, the classic Stunt Car Racer (SCR). And if you're a big fan of the game, then you should be pleased to hear that Sector3 games recently released Fumes Stunt Racer, which is greatly inspired by the classic SCR. So if you've been itching for some classic SCR gameplay on your iPhone, iPod or iPad, then read on...
Fumes Stunt Racer is a first-person stunt racer, in which the goal is to zoom past 15 various tracks in the given time limit to earn a Bronze, Silver or Gold medal. In order to unlock the next track, you have to at least get the bronze medal in the current track. Like in the ole stunt car racing fashion, Fumes Stunt Racer has you slam down on the brakes almost as much as slam down on the gas pedal. In each track, there are sharp curves and dangerous jumps, and one has to be able to know when to hit the brakes, or how fast one should go lest he fall off the track. This may sound daunting, and it is no simple job to learn just exactly how you should steer your car over the next curve, or how fast you should go when speeding up a ramp, but after a few tries (and failures) you'll come to know and understand the physics and mechanics of your car. Then the magic happens as you let loose the adrenaline you feel when you make a fast turn with a tricky move.
While this may all sound like racing mayhem, the game actually manages to keep everything balanced pretty nicely once you get the hang of the game's physics. There are two main control options for controlling your stunt car, accelerometer or a simple touch slider to steer, and a gas pedal and a brake pedal. While both the touch and the tilt methods work fine, I personally found the touch controls to feel a lot tighter than the tilt option.
But one of the game's main letdown is the fact that some of the minimum time requirements to unlock new tracks are so darn hard. I found myself trying (and failing) to race around certain tracks time and time again and still going just over the time limit, and some bronze medals for tracks are extremely difficult to earn, which might be a great letdown to casual gamers and the steep difficulty curve might be just too hard for some players.
Fumes Stunt Racer currently has 15 tracks which won?t keep you that busy for long. But the developer has promised 7-10 new tracks in the very next update, an AI driver that allows at least one new game mode against AI as well as iPod integration and Game Center integration. So more goodies are just around the corner.
The graphics for Fumes Stunt Racer are kept simple, so as to keep the game Retina and iPad native, so sometimes textures look like they're low quality, but you won't really pay much attention to that while you're driving at extremely fast speeds and paying attention to the road. This minimal background approach pays homage to the SCR era and should please the retro gamers who were SCR fans.
The soundtracks for this game work really well and enhance the overall racing experience with crowds cheering, tires squealing, engines revving and a pumping rock music track. As mentioned, iPod integration is coming in the next update.
The hardcore stunt car racing style fans should enjoy the game that brings all the goodness of the old SCR fun. The game has great feel of the driving physics and the tracks are well designed. The visual and audio fit the game theme well, and 15 tough tracks provide a good amount of gameplay. With more tracks and AI opponent scheduled for the next update, Fumes Stunt Racer is a good buy for the stunt car racing players and racing gamers alike.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - The retro style graphics work well for the game, but might not impress today?s racers. However when you're focused on the road it doesn't really matter.
Sound: - 4.5 - Adrenaline-pumping rock soundtrack and good sound effects work very well. No iPod integration, but it?s also coming in the next update.
Controls: - 4.5 - Two control options, both work well.
Gameplay: - 4 - Fun, fast paced stunt racing gameplay, but only has 15 tracks, no AI drivers and the steep difficulty level could be a letdown for some.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-When about to hit a sharp curve, be sure to slow down a bit, so you won't fall off the track.
-Curve edges are slippery and should be avoided at all times.
Developer: Sector3 Games
Release Date: Oct 12, 2010
Buy App: Fumes Stunt Racer
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