iPad Game Review: Burnout Crash for iOS (Universal) Review
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Burnout Crash is a high-adrenaline, car-themed, physics puzzler/pinball game. It features unique swipe-based gameplay that involves causing the most damage as possible to a single intersection.
Burnout Crash is completely unlike any game I have ever played. In it, you control a vehicle with finger swipes with the intent of causing as much damage to a single intersection as inhumanly possible. This isn't as easy as it sounds as your vehicle can only be flung rather than driven, and the vehicles never stop coming from every possible direction.
Flinging your vehicle after an escaping vehicle will likely take you far from the intersection, which will inevitably result in even more vehicles escaping (let 5 get away, and its game over). Fortunately, you have the use of a Crashbreaker button, which is just the thing for those who get through your web of destruction.
Points are awarded for damage not only to vehicles, but also to buildings so don't be shy about leveling the neighborhood while you're there. When I launched the game for the first time I had no idea what to expect, and it completely confounded me as I kept trying to drive away from the intersection and get on with the race. I quickly learned that this is not a racing game. In fact, Burnout Crash is only a racing-themed game, and has far more in common with physics puzzlers and pinball than it does with racing. Also, like pinball, there are so many ways to trigger power-ups and combos that replaying the many levels provided never seems to get old.
Successfully completing levels and meeting certain objectives will net you stars, which can be used to unlock additional vehicles. There are also three different game modes: Rush Hour, Pile Up, and Road Block. In Rush Hour, the goal is to create the largest crash possible in 90 seconds, while Pile Up is about stopping all traffic. Road Block is sort of a combination of the two where you are tasked with causing massive damage and stopping all traffic. Burnout Crash has been recently patched so Game Center works again; Achievement Hounds, rejoice. The game also supports yet another social gaming service called Autolog, which will allow you to compare scores with other players if you choose, however this service requires an additional registration.
The graphics of Burnout Crash are colorful and manic. In fact, there is so much going on at any given time that it's tempting to ignore your car and just watch the carnage. The textures don't support the new iPad's retina display, but they looked great just the same.
It's not unusual for a game like this to place all of its proverbial eggs in one basket and concentrate on just being pretty. Thankfully, Burnout Crash also brought a basket full of sound effects and music that will blow your ears off. First, the sound effects are so dense and varied that even gamers who have never played a pinball machine will still be reminded of one. Second, the music is a outrageous collection of 80's music clips that come at you rapid-fire depending on what is happening on-screen. Reach for your headphones for this one, folks.
While I was initially mystified by the gameplay (exacerbated by a complete lack of a tutorial), it didn't take long to immerse myself completely in Burnout Crash. The phrase easy to learn, hard to master is one that many, many games claim as their own, but few actually deserve. Burnout Crash is an exception. You could hand this game to a 4-year old and he/she'd be swiping their way through the game in seconds. Give it to an avid gamer, however, and let him/her spend some time with it and you'll see what I mean. It has an organic feel to it, which encourages one to experiment and explore. This quality means that it will have a place on my iPad for a long time.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Good graphics, but no retina support for the new iPad. Sound: - 5 - Among the best sound effects/music available on any iOS game. Controls: - 4 - The swipe mechanic takes some getting used to, but works quite well once you have learned it. Gameplay: - 5 - A pinball game wrapped in an car crash simulator. Unique and fun.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Spend some time replaying the early levels until you are no longer swiping randomly. There is a strategy that will reveal itself after playing for a while. While you're at it, take the time to get all 5 stars in all three categories of the early levels. You will benefit from the practice, and upgrading to a new vehicle as soon as possible will also help.
Developer: EA Release Date: April 12, 2012 Price: $4.99 Buy App: Burout Crash