Friday, July 27, 2012

Car Toons! [FDG] - $0.99/$1.99

Sometimes it seems like physics puzzlers have taken over the AppStore. Ever since the success of Angry Birds, everyone realized the potential for hooking casual gamers. But FDG, a publication/development company that we here at TAS highly respect, and that has been on a roll lately, releasing quite a few titles over the last couple months, has jumped on the physics puzzler bandwagon, and is taking it in an entirely different direction. With Blosics, Expand It!, Cover Orange, Beyond Ynth and more under their belt, they’re continuously releasing new and unique physics puzzlers on the iOS. 

Their newest release, Car Toons!, is another great example of this. With simple gameplay that can also provide a nice little challenge, it’s another physics puzzler that doesn’t follow in the footsteps of any previous iOS releases. The goal of the game is to get your good cars (ie; cop cars, ambulances, fire trucks, ect) into the parking zones while knocking any bad cars (the black cars) off of the screen. Sounds simple enough, maybe even too simple. But when you take into account the level designs, as well as the hazards and other various puzzle elements, it actually offers up a decent challenge while still remaining casual and simple enough to just jump on into when you’ve got a couple of minutes to spare. 

With 100 levels, and possible 3 star rankings on each stage, with more levels coming soon, there’s quite a bit of content. The 100 levels is split up across 9 different worlds, each with different hazards and objects as well as mechanics to help keep the game fresh. When you start out, you’re only able to touch each good car to make them start, and then touch them again to stop them. Doing this, you’ll need to knock all of the bad cars off of the platforms, and stop the cars in the correct parking spots (each parking spot’s color matches the good cars lights). As you progress through the game, disappearing platforms, the ability to jump, nitro boosters, doors that open when you drive into buttons, exploding barrels and loads more are just some of the things that you’ll end up using in order to complete levels.

The graphics and animations are very well done, with each car having a set of eyes, making the graphics pretty cutesy. But the animations really bring it all together, with wheels turning, smoke flying up from breaks, the expressions of the cars’ eyes, explosions, and more showcasing the polish of the graphics, and making the gameplay fun and entertaining. The music sounds like your typical classic 80’s pop tunes, reminiscent of an underrated nerd winning over a jock jerk in a John Hughes flick. 

Rounding it all out is GameCenter support with a leaderboard for your overall time and 23 great achievements. However, the board for time could use some tweaking, as the longer you play, the further down the board you’ll go. This could be fixed by not submitting a time until the game is completed, or by doing that as well as having leaderboards for each world, but right now, it’s pretty pointless. However, priced at $0.99 for the SD build, and $1.99 for the HD version, it’s a pretty unique casual puzzler, and one that fans of puzzle games should definitely check out. With the support that FDG has given their previous releases, I have complete confidence that the leaderboard issue will be sorted out and know that more levels will definitely be included in the future. Another great release to throw on the list that FDG is quickly building up. 


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