Nukezilla Review: Hill Climb Racing (iPad)
I got an iPad, and now I struggle to find a reason to leave my bed in the morning and it’s quite unfortunate. There’s an endless ocean of apps ranging from the desolate, terrible and ignored to the outstandingly mediocre and fleetingly brilliant. I think it’s making me a bad person.
The other day I wanted “a game, just something mindless” and I found the perfect app. Hill Climb Racing is available on Androids, iPhones and iPads and is a physics-based driving game identical to the million flash games out there where you try to get a motocross rider to drive over obstacles. Accelerating tips you back, breaking tips you forwards, and your suspension is made out of jelly. You have an upgradeable car, bonus points if you end the level snapping your driver’s neck, and one of the tracks is on the moon.
What starts out as a simple and boring game steadily and patiently builds into a tense and genuinely quite exciting challenge as you upgrade your vehicle and unlock different levels. Each of which has its own theme and challenges. The unlocks come from using coins gained from the levels themselves, with extra coins gained from flips & air-time.
As it’s a free mobile game you can also pay for extra coins if you’re an idiot/addict, but given how fast you can collect coins if you know what you’re doing (I’m a pro, yo) I can’t really see the appeal. But then, “I can’t see the appeal” seems to be the basic version of the words I’m eating as I enjoy myself playing mindless flash game clones on a device more expensive than a car.
Another result of it being a free mobile game is that it’s got crappy adverts appearing along the bottom of the screen. Thankfully the developers have limited when they appear to not be on screen when you’re actually playing, and as the game has that cheap flash-game feel even the gaudiest of adverts don’t feel too out of place. Given the shitty ads you find in more popular (and expensive) games like Angry Birds, these ads really aren’t too bad at all.
On the topics of “who would pay for extra coins?” and “I wish these ads would go away” it’s nice to see that if you do choose to buy some coins (the cheapest pack costing £1.49, and getting you as many coins as I can earn in a couple of minutes) the game becomes ad free. Maybe I can start to see the appeal of that after all.
The game is easy to pick up, easy to pause and put down (as every good mobile game should be) and easy to hand to a friend or family member for them to have a play with. Its simplicity is probably one of its best features; pick your vehicle, pick your stage, select any upgrades if you can afford them, and go. When you inevitably run out of fuel or kill your driver it takes just seconds before you’re back driving again.
Given all the games I’ve played on this device in the month or so that I’ve had it, the fact a rubbishy looking, super-simple free game of this ilk is holding my attention far more than any other is quite the achievement. For the price of Free, I’d highly recommend it.
This review is day twenty-two of the December 2012 Nukestravaganza