Still chomping at the bit for a decent super-bike game on iOS? Well keep at it, as you won’t find it in this run-of-the-mill racer…
When you think of super-bike racing, you think of high speed and high adrenaline. Those hairpin corners where the biker is perilously balanced on the limit of those tires, and millimetres away from death at any moment.
Turtles Entertainments (plurality gone mad) attempts to replicate this experience with its originally titled ‘Streetbike: Full Blast’. A game where – you guessed it – you race bikes… on the street!
It’s strictly a single-player affair, so don’t expect any modern features such as online play, ghost racing or online leader-boards. What it does offer are nine racing leagues to play through, each containing eight tracks dressed in various themes from cities to mountain passes.
Each league contains a variety of events such as normal race, time attack, rush hour, and money chaser. This is, however, variety in the loosest sense of the word, with the differences in gameplay being minimal. Rush Hour, if you can call it that, places a few more cars on the roads, while Money Chaser requires a set amount of dollar icons to be collected as well as a top three finish. Pass Cars and Don’t Crash events do exactly what they say on the tin, and are kinda what you’ll want to do do in all events, right?
Streetbike: Full Blast is pretty old school in its in-game presentation. Despite its use of 3D it looks more in-line with racing games of old such as OutRun or Road Rash. It has an overly extreme perspective applied to the environments, giving the illusion that passing buildings stretch upwards and bend away from the track.
There is no evidence of a realistic physics system at work, and cars and opponent bikes exhibit zero intelligence, instead simply following pre-determined paths at varying speeds (depending on the difficulty level) like trains on a track to the checkered flag.
It’s clear that Streetbike: Full Blast hasn’t gone for outright realism and has instead opted for the Ridge Racer-style arcade route. Arcade style racing allows you to throw out the rules and go crazy in the name of fun. However, fun this isn’t. It doesn’t try and do anything off-the-wall and comes across as totally generic.
It’s very disappointing that a game with ‘Street’ in the title isn’t grittier. Where are the nun-chucks or baseball bats of Road Rash for example. Crashes are uneventful affairs featuring a dull canned crash animation, so don’t expect to gleefully watch your biker flailing through the air or skidding along the asphalt. The only standout aspects of the game are the nitrous boosts which give a good sense of speed, and the ability pull wheelies. But, we’re hardly talking state-of-the-art racing mechanics here, and if anything they just have a negative effect on your track times.
Controls, which are billed as ‘well tuned and fully customisable’ are anything but. The tilt-based steering lacks precision where it counts, meaning you’ll find your self against the roadside barriers or walls more often than not, particularly if your are engaged in the aforementioned wheelie. If tilt isn’t your bag then you are out of luck, because the touch option is completely un-playable, offering a ride experience similar to that of a shopping trolley.
I’m quite surprised Chillingo published this, it’s sub-standard compared to their usual quality, particularly after we gave them the ‘Studio of the year’ nod just last week. Turtles Entertainments need to go back to the drawing board and look at what gamers want from a bike-based racing game, because it clearly isn’t this. It’s certainly not worth the low price of $0.99 when there are far deeper racing experiences on the AppStore for the same price, and occasionally even free.
Diagnosis: Not ‘Full’ and not a ‘Blast’
Streetbike: Full Blast is out now for $0.99. Get it on the