Reviews

Re-Volt Classic review

Off to the toy store now, see ya!

Every time this game cross path with me it means that I get an urge to spend money. Not on the game itself, and definitely not on iAP as there are none to be found. Nope, what happens is that I want to go to a toy store, and get myself a cool RC car. I want to race all around my neighbourhood tearing across the grass, doing a burnout outside my neighbour that hasn’t raked up the leaves from his trees yet. I want to jump over cars, and take turns on two wheels.

I have been fooled twice by this game already, and the result has been mediocre RC cars not able to do a tenth of the cool stuff I had intended. Sure I had a speedy racer that could take corners on two wheels for sure, but it had no power when it came to going up ramps. Then a couple of years later I had a lot more money to spend when I crossed paths with Re-Volt, and I got myself a super cool red buggy. It was one of the most powerful electric RC-cars I could find, but the power was more for going across dirt tracks. It couldn’t go that fast on tarmac, unless I changed a switch that said fast. This meant that the batteries ran out in like five minutes. Perhaps that is what fools me the most everytime when playing Re-Volt. The time you have to spend waiting for batteries to charge in real life is not present in the game, thank God.

Re-Volt has been around the block for a number of different consoles: Xbox, Dreamcast and PC. Instead of trying to re-imagine the game for iOS Big Bit has gone for a version that is as close to the original, as touch controls can give. This means that you get to play the game without worrying about it being turned into a quick casual experience. Nope, the hard and sometimes cruel racing is back and so is the aggravation and despair. A lot has happened in racing games since Re-Volt originally was released. For one games are much kinder in difficulty, give more rewards and have streamlined tracks that even allow for kids to bounce around them without getting stuck. Perhaps this is what makes Re-Volt Classic so great, as it doesn’t try to be kind to you, but rather want you to go from a casual gamer to a hardcore one. And yes, you might want to lock away your credit card to avoid going to the mall for a RC car right now.

The game is loaded with features, modes, cars and tracks. Even the options are extensive, and considering this is the first game from Big Bit on iOS I am truly impressed. Having the game universal for iPad, and iPhone is great. Launching with extended screen for the iPhone 5 is another great feature that even seasoned developers haven’t grasped fully. Overall I really enjoy the level of customer service available straight out of the box.

Controlling RC cars is truly hard in real life, especially when you have to take several corners and have a couple of opponents you are trying to pass. Re-Volt Classic manages to capture this challenge quite well, and the physics is perhaps a bit too realistic at times. Getting stuck, crashing and somersaulting are all done from the perspective of a lightweight RC racer.

The controls are all touch based, and there are three different schemes. The first gives you auto-acceleration, and you steer by touching the left, and right side of your device. This works quite well until you get stuck, and want to back out. Backing, and breaking is done by pressing both sides of the device simultaneously. The game helps slightly in steering you in the right direction when backing up, but it still feels awkward. The second, and third schemes are quite similar with manual acceleration, and breaking. You get either arrows, and buttons or dual virtual controls sticks. To me the arrows, and buttons work best, as it mimics a digital controller really well. No matter what method you use resetting the car is done by shaking the device gently.

With a crazy amount of tracks, modes and cars there are countless hours that can be spent playing Re-Volt Classic. Just getting all the stars in stunt mode is a humongous task, especially until you unlock a really speedy racer. Then there is a championship mode that takes no prisoners. Failing three times to reach the top three in any of the races means that you are out of retries, and the game is over. Time trial, and practise modes are also available.

The presentation is good, especially when racing. I would have liked to have the menu system overhauled using buttons, and icons instead of texts. Too often I end up touching the wrong item on my iPhone 5. Other than that this is an agile racer on both iPhone, and iPad. It is important to remember that it is a port, and not a new take on the classic when it comes to graphics and sound.

Re-Volt Classic is a true gem in the racing genre giving countless hours of challenging racing, star-chasing and swearing at evil opponents blasting you with electric bolts. The price is on the high side, and I would have liked it lower to get more players to jump on the buy button. If you want a game that you can really sink your teeth into Re-Volt Classic comes highly recommended.

Final Rating

great

Re-Volt Classic $5.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Version: 1.0.0
Seller: Big Bit Ltd.

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