866370_2True Axis' Jet Car Stunts [App Store] has been eagerly anticipated here at Touch Arcade, largely due to impressive previews of its stylish, uniquely crafted game world in which to soar around. Now that we have it in our hands, it is safe to say that our excitement for this game was not remiss: Jet Car Stunts has really set the bar high in both visual appeal and handling.

As explained by the developers in our earlier interview, the clean-lined track design is created by a flat-shading of solid colors that really draw the eye to the engine’s pre-calculated lightmaps. Each of the tracks are set over detailed, eye-catching skymaps that act as contrasting backdrops- the effect culminating in one particular level with a breathtaking sunset casting shadows all over the race track. The developers have previously stated in our forums that as well as looking terrific, this design has allowed them to achieve an impressive 60 frames per second on 3rd generation devices, and a smooth 30 fps on all previous models.

jetcar

All the visuals in the world however cannot sustain a lacking gameplay design or frustrating controls; two unfortunately common traits of many AppStore releases. Fortunately, Jet Car Stunts sports neither, its simple name belying a surprisingly feature and content-rich racer. There are two markedly different gameplay experiences to be had in Jet Car Stunts; a Platforming mode and a Time Trial mode, with 36 individually crafted tracks to complete between the two.

Platforming mode sees you carefully managing your rocket boost and brake-flaps to perfectly land mind-boggling jumps and death-defying drops. There are 25 tracks to master here, ranging in difficulty from ‘Just learning’ to ‘Impossible’, the latter of which is very true to its name. Platforming, and to a lesser extent, Time Trial mode too, is not something that you will expect to complete on your first or even fifth attempt. To pass each level you must complete the track without retrying more than 10 times. That may sound lenient, but Jet Car Stunts sees you careening off-course at blistering speeds more often than not, until you’re adequately familiar with each turn and have gauged each jump. Fortunately, there are regular checkpoints throughout each level that make each new feat manageable and prevent the game from ever getting frustrating.

866370_4Time Trial mode presents 11 tracks of lesser vertical challenge, but which are far more capable of maxing out the speed potential of your jet car. Checkpoints award a much needed time bonus and boost recharge as you wildly drift and rocket your jet car around precarious bends and stomach-wrenching leaps to complete each lap. It’s pleasing to see a racer capable of two very different yet still exciting game play approaches.

Considering the break-neck pace at which Jet Car Stunts is played, it is a credit to the developers that they have managed to fine tuned the accelerometer steering. Acceleration and braking is controlled separately from the boosting and brake-flaps, meaning four buttons must be considered at all times. When in the air, tilting the device up or down alters the pitch of the jet car to achieve desired distance and trajectory, whilst left and right tilting affect the roll of the vehicle. Proper use of air-braking and tilting is critical for success especially in the Platforming levels. Though every now and then you may find your jet car the wrong way up, you never feel as if it is a result of the game controls, but simply due to the need for extra practice with the track. It is also worth noting that there are a variety of different on-screen button configurations available depending on your personal preference.

In addition to all this, Jet Car Stunts boasts OpenFeint integration, with 39 achievements to unlock; gained through feats such as somersaulting, barrel rolling and spinning your jet car, as well as through mastering each track on offer. Online leaderboards for each track in both Platforming and Time Trial will see that the competitive types continue to play Jet Car Stunts for a long while to come. For those simply interested in completing Jet Car Stunts, the time needed to memorize and master the 36 tracks available will certinaly be satisfactory.

All in all, we've been having a great time with this game and highly recommend it. Early impressions pouring in from readers in our discussions forums are also overwhelmingly positive. If you are vaguely interested in a challenging rocket-paced racer with attractive and crafty level designs then you owe it to yourself to check out the break-neck paced racing and fresh visual design of Jet Car Stunts.

App Store Link: Jet Car Stunts, $1.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://www.talkingfuture.com martin_tf

    An excellent game, one of my favourites on this platform so far. Its really good fun, the difficulty curve is well judged to make it very addictive. I'm also very impressed with the tilt controls, it has the best steering I have experienced on an iPhone racing game.

    9.5/10 from me!

  • http://www.talkingfuture.com martin_tf

    An excellent game, one of my favourites on this platform so far. Its really good fun, the difficulty curve is well judged to make it very addictive. I'm also very impressed with the tilt controls, it has the best steering I have experienced on an iPhone racing game.

    9.5/10 from me!

  • TKO

    Well .. I'd suggest Real Racing has the best steering .. this one is damn good though. No complaints at all. Perfect game for me to play when I'm out and about and can't get at TrackMania on the PC (which is kinda similar ..just doesn't have the jet thrust.)

  • TKO

    Well .. I'd suggest Real Racing has the best steering .. this one is damn good though. No complaints at all. Perfect game for me to play when I'm out and about and can't get at TrackMania on the PC (which is kinda similar ..just doesn't have the jet thrust.)

  • Kamblad

    So hard, so frustating, so damn good! The best racer for the iPhone in my opinion!

  • http://TouchGen Kamblad

    So hard, so frustating, so damn good! The best racer for the iPhone in my opinion!

  • Masmo

    Windburn is the new Big Albie? :P Anyway, the game can be frustrating at times but just keep trying and you'll manage to pass it with practice. I usually keep restarting until I get a run with gold or silver than try to get a gold. Find the right sweet spot when boosting, very important.

  • Masmo

    Windburn is the new Big Albie? :P Anyway, the game can be frustrating at times but just keep trying and you'll manage to pass it with practice. I usually keep restarting until I get a run with gold or silver than try to get a gold. Find the right sweet spot when boosting, very important.

  • Quebec Rage

    An excellent game but it really needs shadows under the car. It would be so easier to judge jumps. Hope it's coming in an update.

    • Josh

      There is a shadow under the car. Plus a shadow of what you want would not work unless the light was shining in the right direction which would be rare.

    • SalsaMD

      The level of the sun and clouds should also help in lieu of a directly cast shadow.

  • Quebec Rage

    An excellent game but it really needs shadows under the car. It would be so easier to judge jumps. Hope it's coming in an update.

    • Josh

      There is a shadow under the car. Plus a shadow of what you want would not work unless the light was shining in the right direction which would be rare.

    • SalsaMD

      The level of the sun and clouds should also help in lieu of a directly cast shadow.

  • kashoboy

    Good steering Game! I had fun thx.

  • kashoboy

    Good steering Game! I had fun thx.

  • Dogmatta

    Does anyone know how well this game runs on a 1st generation touch? I am tired of terrible framerates on any of the newer games.

    • TrueAxis

      There's no difference in frame rate between the 1st gen and the 2nd gen iPods. It runs silky smooth, and we are proud to achieve this :)

      • Dogmatta

        Thanks. I will try it out.

      • Dogmatta

        Silky smooth. Great, and very difficult, game. Well done.

    • mattll

      yap no problems runs perfect on mine

  • Dogmatta

    Does anyone know how well this game runs on a 1st generation touch? I am tired of terrible framerates on any of the newer games.

    • TrueAxis

      There's no difference in frame rate between the 1st gen and the 2nd gen iPods. It runs silky smooth, and we are proud to achieve this :)

      • Dogmatta

        Thanks. I will try it out.

      • Dogmatta

        Silky smooth. Great, and very difficult, game. Well done.

    • mattll

      yap no problems runs perfect on mine

  • Gavaphone

    That means a Trackmania nations is possible!!!!!

  • Gavaphone

    That means a Trackmania nations is possible!!!!!

  • azz

    I would *love* to see a regular racing game with Jet Car's handling, physics, and simplified polygonal visuals. Make it happen!

  • azz

    I would *love* to see a regular racing game with Jet Car's handling, physics, and simplified polygonal visuals. Make it happen!

  • hapz

    i approve and strongly recommend this game..

    i don't even like racing type games.. but this one is different..

    it requires skill and highly competitive for the leader boards.

    The exhilaration and adrenaline from the game as you PUMP TEH TURBO.. it simply feels like a very engaging fast speed.

    For 2 dollars, you'd be silly to miss this one, highly polished and great fun.. at least 20+ hours of entertainment to complete game to a pass each level with a bronze medal.. even longer to perfect each level :)

  • hapz

    i approve and strongly recommend this game..

    i don't even like racing type games.. but this one is different..

    it requires skill and highly competitive for the leader boards.

    The exhilaration and adrenaline from the game as you PUMP TEH TURBO.. it simply feels like a very engaging fast speed.

    For 2 dollars, you'd be silly to miss this one, highly polished and great fun.. at least 20+ hours of entertainment to complete game to a pass each level with a bronze medal.. even longer to perfect each level :)

  • T-Will

    Highly recommended!

    Just an FYI, there's a bug with 1st Gen iPhones (not sure about Touches) where the game crashes at startup. It's a known issue that the developer is fixing.

    There are 2 workarounds at the moment:

    1. Put your iPhone into Silent Mode.
    2. Use headphones.

    • TrueAxis

      It only effects 1st gen iPhones. This will be fixed in the next update.

      • alt

        In my case, even silent mode doesn't work. I have to always use the headphone. Hopefully this gets fixed soon.

        I'll have to check out the tutorial, but a help window would be useful. For example, I did not know you could change the tilt/pitch while the car is airborne.

        In any case, great game!

  • T-Will

    Highly recommended!

    Just an FYI, there's a bug with 1st Gen iPhones (not sure about Touches) where the game crashes at startup. It's a known issue that the developer is fixing.

    There are 2 workarounds at the moment:

    1. Put your iPhone into Silent Mode.
    2. Use headphones.

    • TrueAxis

      It only effects 1st gen iPhones. This will be fixed in the next update.

      • alt

        In my case, even silent mode doesn't work. I have to always use the headphone. Hopefully this gets fixed soon.

        I'll have to check out the tutorial, but a help window would be useful. For example, I did not know you could change the tilt/pitch while the car is airborne.

        In any case, great game!

  • Thomas K.

    Great design but the game is way too difficult. I did not even make it through the learning levels (there's a 10 retries limit). Map design should be a bit more forgiving.

    • luketrueaxis

      Just to clear up any confusion that some people might have had about retrys in Platforming mode ...

      - A retry will take you back to the previous check point.
      - Everytime you start or restart a track, the number of retrys is set to zero. You can attempt a track as many times as you like.
      - If you complete 4/5 tracks in 10 retrys you can unlock a new difficulty.
      - If you you take more then 10 retrys to complete a track, you can restart with zero retrys.

  • Thomas K.

    Great design but the game is way too difficult. I did not even make it through the learning levels (there's a 10 retries limit). Map design should be a bit more forgiving.

    • luketrueaxis

      Just to clear up any confusion that some people might have had about retrys in Platforming mode ...

      - A retry will take you back to the previous check point.
      - Everytime you start or restart a track, the number of retrys is set to zero. You can attempt a track as many times as you like.
      - If you complete 4/5 tracks in 10 retrys you can unlock a new difficulty.
      - If you you take more then 10 retrys to complete a track, you can restart with zero retrys.

  • DaverJ

    Tough game, but well-designed and a lot of fun.

    Once again, another great suggestion for Touch Arcade!

  • DaverJ

    Tough game, but well-designed and a lot of fun.

    Once again, another great suggestion for Touch Arcade!

  • TomH

    This game is brilliant, but it definitely has the old-fashioned "annoy the hell out of you, but you keep trying" feel. In a good way.

  • TomH

    This game is brilliant, but it definitely has the old-fashioned "annoy the hell out of you, but you keep trying" feel. In a good way.

  • Johan

    I really like the game. As mentioned (at least in the podcast) I blame myself whenever I fail, which means I keep trying.

    But I am surprised apparently nobody has mentioned Mirror's Edge (the DLC levels) as the obvious inspiration for the game or level art.

  • Johan

    I really like the game. As mentioned (at least in the podcast) I blame myself whenever I fail, which means I keep trying.

    But I am surprised apparently nobody has mentioned Mirror's Edge (the DLC levels) as the obvious inspiration for the game or level art.

  • xsn0w

    This is my favorite game on the iPhone and I have been a iGamer since the beginning. Check out my stats. Im xsn0w in Open feint too. I have a top 3 in the world. This is a very challenging, very well made game. 6 out of 5 stars

  • xsn0w

    This is my favorite game on the iPhone and I have been a iGamer since the beginning. Check out my stats. Im xsn0w in Open feint too. I have a top 3 in the world. This is a very challenging, very well made game. 6 out of 5 stars

  • Scoob

    Once you get past the hard learning curve, this game is a blast. I haven't lost track of time while just trying a game out in a long while. This is a must own for every iphone. Seriously, its NOT THAT difficult as people have been saying. After about an hour, anybody should be able to pick it up. Give it a chance. The Hard tracks are freaking amazing once you learn how to REALLY USE the controls in your favor, and overall this game is a rush to play. Nobody else has mentioned that this game has an awesome replay feature once you complete a track, this is a really sweat reward after spending an hour mastering a track.... This game is very similar to that awesome game "Grip Shift" from the X360 arcade/PSP in my opinion. I do wish that in a future update car shadows for under the car (once air born) as well as a speedometer were added... A custom track editor might be pushing it... great job true Axis.

  • Scoob

    Once you get past the hard learning curve, this game is a blast. I haven't lost track of time while just trying a game out in a long while. This is a must own for every iphone. Seriously, its NOT THAT difficult as people have been saying. After about an hour, anybody should be able to pick it up. Give it a chance. The Hard tracks are freaking amazing once you learn how to REALLY USE the controls in your favor, and overall this game is a rush to play. Nobody else has mentioned that this game has an awesome replay feature once you complete a track, this is a really sweat reward after spending an hour mastering a track.... This game is very similar to that awesome game "Grip Shift" from the X360 arcade/PSP in my opinion. I do wish that in a future update car shadows for under the car (once air born) as well as a speedometer were added... A custom track editor might be pushing it... great job true Axis.

  • Jackpot777

    Excellent game, can't believe it's just two bucks. I second the idea that the graphics be used for a traditional Virtua Racing-esque game. Keep up the good work. Oh, and: Aussie Aussie Aussie!...

  • Jackpot777

    Excellent game, can't believe it's just two bucks. I second the idea that the graphics be used for a traditional Virtua Racing-esque game. Keep up the good work. Oh, and: Aussie Aussie Aussie!...

  • Dan

    Fantastic; got the free lite version and will be upgrading. Must be working the processor on my ipod hard because it always gets a little warm spot at the back when I play this!