Take one part racer, one part physics based platformer and mix with hint of crazy golf and a dash of flight sim…. congratulations you have a freshly baked serving of Jet car Stunts.
Those of you who fondly remember Stunt Racer 2000 on the Acorn RISC-PC (and you will be in the minority!), might get a feeling of nostalgia when playing Jet car Stunts. Stunt Racer was an arcade style driving game in the same vein as the classic Hard Drivin’ but with crazier ramps and obstacles, that regularly saw you launch your car into the air from big heights and safely land across the other side of a ravine to complete the levels.
Jet Car Stunts is very similar. You are presented with tracks of varying difficulty (I use the term ‘tracks’ loosely, as these are more like platformed levels) which you must complete in order to progress… ok, nothing unusual there… except these tracks flaot thousands of feet above the air and consist of a wide range of jumps, twists, turns, platforms, hoops… you name it. Each track is split into checkpoints and the main object is to get to the end. If you crash or fall to your death, you will respawn at the last checkpoint. You can die as many times as you like until you reach the goal, but later levels will require a maximum set of retries or a set time to progress further. So finishing with the best time and with the least amount of retries obviously has it’s rewards.
Controls work a treat, with the now standard use of tilt to control the cars steering. The sensitivity can be customised, and I found that the more sensitive the better for quick twitch correction. Acceleration and reverse gear are activated using two touch buttons situated on the bottom right of the screen. On the left is a boost button for quick speed and launching your car off ramps.
Here is where the dash of Flight Sim I mentioned earlier comes in… once you launch into the air, you can control your car just like a jet plane. Next to the boost button is an air break button. Activating it while airbourne will shoot out small flaps, allowing you to slow your descent and glide to the next platform or ramp. Tilting up or down will pitch your nose in either direction, for flightesque control. It’s a great addition to the gameplay and moves the game away from your typical stunt based racers.
Graphically the game has great style. It’s pretty much texture-less, reminding me of the Zone levels in Wipeout HD. Objects may be flat in colour, but the environments are brought to life with great lighting effects and shadow. While this might be an artistic decision, it also helps from a technical standpoint, as this lack of detail allows the games frame-rate to run super smooth… which in turn gives a great sense of speed. This coupled with some meaty engine sounds make this game an incredibly entertaining ride.
Until we get our hands on the final release with it’s full line up of levels, we’ll reserve full judgement. But, if this short taster is anything to go by, then Jet Car Stunts could be a must purchase this Winter.
Check out the images and video of the game in action below.