Nov 15, 2011

Riptide GP

I picked up the Riptide GP demo back when I first got my Transformer tablet and was looking for games that took advantage of the Tegra 2 chipset. I had to admit that it really wowed me. The graphics on this game are drop dead gorgeous especially for a device that I can hold like a steering wheel. However, the $6.99 price tag scared me away. Since then it's dropped to $4.99 and there was even a $2.99 Halloween sale that was enough to put me over the top.

Riptide GP is basically a water racing game similar to arcade games like Hydro Thunder or perhaps more akin to Wave Racer on the Nintendo 64. I don't personally get too excited about racing around a track with the sole goal of trying to better my time. Does Riptide GP do much more than that? Honestly, no. It's got lots of pretty tracks and several vehicles with which to race that are rated on a few basic attributes such as handling and speed. On top of that the game does have a boost meter that you can recharge by doing various stunts and there are several that you can pull off.

The games controls are pretty simple. Tilt to steer. Hold down anywhere on the lower left side of the screen to brake. And if you choose to control acceleration then you can hold down on the lower right to accelerate although auto-accelerate is on by default. Then there's the boost meter on the right that you can touch for a burst of speed. Stunts are executed by dragging your thumbs on the lower left/right while in the air. The keyword there is thumbS as it took me entirely too long to process that. I was getting quite frustrated at my in ability to dance in the air when I drag my thumb on one side of the screen or the other. However, the help clearly documents the different thumb patterns that perform fancy moves along with the fact that both thumbs must operate in synchronicity.

qrcodeFor some reason I prefer water racing games over car racing games. I don't know why... that's just me. The reality is that this isn't going to be a game that consumes a lot of my time. It'll get some attention here and there and will be a go to game when it comes to showing off my Android Tablet to the iPad masses (not that it beats the iPad... it just puts us on par with it). It's a beautiful game that's really executed very well. It's got Open Feint support for online leader board support (and it would have been awesome if I could race over the Internet), but it doesn't quite have the extra oomph to make this a must have... especially at $5. If you love water racing games or need another graphical gem for your collection then by all means grab this one, but if you can wait then I'd hold out until the next sale or just grab the demo. This is a quality title for any Android owner with a Tegra 2 (or better) chipset that just seems to be missing that little extra bit of fun that makes me want to play it over and over. 4/5 stars.

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