Donut Games seems to have figured out the formula behind fun casual gaming with another great game release in Action Buggy. We profiled the developer in February after they'd found success with games like Rat on a Scooter XL, Titanic Rescue, and Comet Racer.

Action Buggy may have a Moon Patrol vibe but the actual game feel is somewhat distinct. You control a constantly moving moon buggy and have two controls: jump and shoot. Shooting fires rocket forward, and jumping sends you skyward. Your job is to last as long as possible, while destroying moon rocks, trees and basically avoiding death. Crashing into a rock, falling into a hole or driving into open flames will bring your game to a quick end.

One distinct feature behind the controls of the game is that neither your jump nor your shooting is a simple on/off toggle. Press longer while jumping and you can do long jumps or press multiple times for mini jumps -- but only up to a certain point. When you press to shoot, the longer you press the further your shot will go. The result is a hard but really fun game.

Forum user Boardumb captures the resulting challenge well in his evaluation of the game:

This is a pretty hard game. It has that "pat your belly and rub your head" thing going for it. It's tough to wrap your brain around doing both the jumping and firing appropriately. At first, I was just spamming the rockets while only concentrating on the jumping. I thought, how could they overlook such a cheap mechanic? Then I discovered that if you rocket the bare ground, it creates a crater that will crash your buggy. So basically all that spamming will get you is unrideable terrain and a quick death. You have to actually put effort into aiming your rockets while jumping hazards, and not screwing yourself over on your landing. It balances things out nicely, and makes for some frantic fun.

Here's the developer video showing it in action:

Action Buggy is one of those games where the average game session is measured in seconds rather than minutes, but in that elusive "success is just another try away" way. The game contains global high scores, costs just $0.99, and is recommended.

App Store Link: Action Buggy, $0.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Chris

    Another brill game by the donuts?

  • Chris

    Another brill game by the donuts?

  • Pimp Fried Rice

    Kinda reminds me of an old arcade called "Moon Patrol". Ahh memories :)

  • Pimp Fried Rice

    Kinda reminds me of an old arcade called "Moon Patrol". Ahh memories :)

  • Johnny

    Very frustrating game to play, if it was more like moon patrol it would of been far better. Sort of game that might damage your iPhone when you throw it against the wall.

  • Johnny

    Very frustrating game to play, if it was more like moon patrol it would of been far better. Sort of game that might damage your iPhone when you throw it against the wall.

  • http://www.bud.com Bud

    Moon Patrol - meets Lunar Jetman? C'mon! It would rock! :)

  • http://www.bud.com Bud

    Moon Patrol - meets Lunar Jetman? C'mon! It would rock! :)

  • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

    I really like the game.
    Really simple and quick to play. Would be nice to have an instant play instead of going back to the main menu all the time, but still good.

  • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

    I really like the game.
    Really simple and quick to play. Would be nice to have an instant play instead of going back to the main menu all the time, but still good.

  • Boardumb

    Hey thanks for mentioning me in the article! :) This game definitely deserved some front page love.

    The game is definitely hard, but in that good "keep on trying" way. The fact that the level is different each time makes it that much more compelling. Some games I last 2 seconds, some games up to a minute. And yet I keep incessantly retrying, because I know I'll have that one great run and top my high score, which is a feeling that makes it all worth it. I agree about wanting a restart button.

    Great game, definitely my favorite from Donut Games.

  • Boardumb

    Hey thanks for mentioning me in the article! :) This game definitely deserved some front page love.

    The game is definitely hard, but in that good "keep on trying" way. The fact that the level is different each time makes it that much more compelling. Some games I last 2 seconds, some games up to a minute. And yet I keep incessantly retrying, because I know I'll have that one great run and top my high score, which is a feeling that makes it all worth it. I agree about wanting a restart button.

    Great game, definitely my favorite from Donut Games.

  • Takapa

    This game is excellent. I can't stop playing the damn thing.

    The random nature of the maps means that sometimes you will have a great run, and sometimes it will be a nightmare from the start. At around the one minute mark the difficulty jumps again and UFOs start to appear.

    Donut Games are one of the top developers on the iPhone in my opinion. I respect the way they just focus on very short slices of quality gameplay and the way they prolong the life of the game via the high score. They re-use their menus a lot throughout their games but that only makes me respect them more. They are not spending time on frills but good gameplay.

  • Takapa

    This game is excellent. I can't stop playing the damn thing.

    The random nature of the maps means that sometimes you will have a great run, and sometimes it will be a nightmare from the start. At around the one minute mark the difficulty jumps again and UFOs start to appear.

    Donut Games are one of the top developers on the iPhone in my opinion. I respect the way they just focus on very short slices of quality gameplay and the way they prolong the life of the game via the high score. They re-use their menus a lot throughout their games but that only makes me respect them more. They are not spending time on frills but good gameplay.

  • josh

    love it,but still cannot jump out score 100

  • josh

    love it,but still cannot jump out score 100

  • Dan

    Awesome game!

    My current high score is 106. Donut Games rocks.

  • Dan

    Awesome game!

    My current high score is 106. Donut Games rocks.

  • BEAN$

    Love the game!!Super addicting!!!!YAAhhhhhhhhh!!My highscore is 244!!!!!!!!

  • BEAN$

    Love the game!!Super addicting!!!!YAAhhhhhhhhh!!My highscore is 244!!!!!!!!

  • Sly

    Horrible game. Generates impossible situations. Means that skill and practice are worthless, and the game -- and high scores -- is predominantly contingent upon luck.

  • Sly

    Horrible game. Generates impossible situations. Means that skill and practice are worthless, and the game -- and high scores -- is predominantly contingent upon luck.

  • Toby222

    you can never go wrong with one of donuts games and this one is by far my favorite....like the review says its very hard at the beginning but eventually youll find that the controls work really well.
    i spent ridiculous 8 hour total game time on this and still my highscore is just 209