iPad Game Review: Reckless Getaway (Universal)
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
From the creators of Reckless Racing, Reckless Getaway adds a little twist to the gameplay. Reckless Getaway is a top-down racer where your goal is to avoid cops and obstacles as you try to take the money and run after robbing a bank. Your control options are limited to steering and activating power-ups (the game takes care of acceleration and braking), giving it more of an arcade-like, Spy Hunter feel than a true racer. This is not a bad thing.
Reckless Getaway is a highly enjoyable arcade racer that tasks you with dodging cops as well as other vehicles as you attempt to escape with your ill-gotten gains. For those of you with children who may be concerned about playing as the bad guy, this game takes a very lighthearted approach, glossing over the bank robbery entirely. All you see is a muscle-car running from the cops with cartoon money flying out the back; this ain?t Grand Theft Auto.
Game progression Getaway Mode is accomplished through the accumulation of points, which translate into stars. Collecting at least 12 stars from the current group of levels will unlock the next set of tracks. This is not as easy as it sounds. The surest way of acquiring points is by collecting coins, although points can also be accrued in other, less obvious ways such as playing chicken with opposing traffic. The coins are always in the same place within each level resulting in a Super Mario type of gaming experience where success depends on your ability to memorize the level. Although this is not my favorite type of game mechanic, it works surprisingly well here. This is most likely due to the fact that the gameplay is so darn fun that you really don?t mind going back again and again? And again. To help you along the way, you are given the opportunity to collect powerups, which appear in the form of a question mark. Driving over one will grant you one of several superpowers, such as the ability to jump over obstacles or push cars away. These are, of course, limited use, but they are plentiful.
The developers have recently added a second mode they call: Wreckless. In this mode, you are unceremoniously dropped behind the wheel of a semi (no back story here!) and given the ominous task of causing as much wanton destruction as possible. This results in a completely different gaming experience, and breathes new life into what is likely to be overly familiar levels.
Reckless Getaway offers two control modes; thumb and tilt. Oddly, I couldn?t get tilt steering to work at all on my iPad 2. Fortunately, thumb steering is very responsive and is extremely likely to be your preferred control method even if you are able to get tilt working on your device. Lastly, the game fully supports Game Center Achievements and Leaderboards.
If you?ve played Polarbit?s previous title, Reckless Racing, you are already familiar with their excellent game engine and will not be disappointed with Reckless Getaway. The animation is smooth and beautifully rendered, and the effects are generous without being distracting. Coming into contact with other vehicles, obstacles, and even buildings will result in truly enjoyable effects as these things fly through the air and/or explode. There?s something uniquely satisfying about driving through some poor slob?s meticulously-laid traffic pattern and seeing those orange cones fly in every direction. Kids: Don?t try this at home.
The sound effects of Reckless Getaway really add to the immersion factor. Sirens, screeching tires, explosions, even the pinging sound of a light pole being knocked from its footing as you plow through it; it?s all here. This is one of the few games that causes me to reach for my headphones. The in-game music is good, but not particularly memorable; and I found myself turning it down so I could better hear the effects.
Reckless Getaway is a huge amount of fun. Its pick-up-and-play style coupled with great graphics/sound, and spot on thumb controls means you will be coming back to this one again, and again. While I am generally not a fan of memorizing levels in order to win, I didn?t find this implementation to be irritating; most likely because the game is such a hoot to play.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Beautiful, silky-smooth graphics, and beautiful effects.
Sound: - 5 - You will want to play this one with headphones to hear everything.
Controls: - 4 - Fantastic thumb-steering mode and a puzzlingly non-functional tilt mode.
Gameplay: - 5 - A ton of fun with great replay value.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Don?t worry about your score until you?ve played each map a few times. Take the time to explore and enjoy all the detail on each level. Rushing through the content is a mistake as the game is very forgiving and mostly frustration-free. The game may not be easy to win, but it?s almost impossible to flat-out lose.
Release Date: July 13, 2011
Buy App: Reckless Getaway
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