The smell of petrol fills the air, roaring engines scare birds into flight and strong booze pass between the spectators. This is off-road racing over mountains through hard to traverse terrain. The App Store page calls Alpine Crawler World an off-road simulation, but this is far from simulation. The focus is on arcade racing, and realism is not part of the package.
In Alpine Crawler World you control your off-road vehicle by means of speed. Touch controls for accelerator and break are your main means of control. Forward and reverse gears are also available, but I have had no real use for changing gears. A small minimap below the car shows upcoming obstacles, hills and ravines. By adjusting the speed to the obstacle ahead you have to make sure to keep the vehicle on all four wheels. Hitting the ground too hard or upside down decreases the health meter at the top. Furthermore you have a limited amount of car recovery tokens to use. These resets the car when it has landed upside down.
I have enjoyed bike trial games for quite some time, but those have usually had the ability to affect the rider. In Alpine Crawler World I feel restricted by only having the speed as determining factor of success. Still it gets quite addictive to beat harder and harder levels.
The biggest selling point of Alpine Crawler World is the amount of content it packs. It comes with three game modes: time trial, challenge and free ride. The time trial and challenge mode are the meat of the game, and it is easy to spend hours trying to beat all the tracks. 3 locations are available, and of course Sweden is filled with snow.(no polar bears in sight though) A total of 30 different tracks with varied obstacles.
The graphics in Alpine Crawler World lacks polish to the vehicles, and maps. On the other hand it has got some cool weather and lighting effects. Dirt spraying when accelerating is really cool, and enhances the feeling of off road racing. The sound effects are well made with good engine sounds, and groans as you slam the vehicle down. You can listen to your own music, and keep the sound effects when playing. Openfeint integration gives online leaderboards.
Initially I didn’t like the game that much at all. The tutorial is too simple, and didn’t entice me to get interested in the gameplay. After playing the game for an hour or so I was hooked. Alpine Crawler World is a solid casual arcade off-road racer.