It feels like forever since the original Jet Car Stunts [$1.99] was released. All the way back in 2009, this arcade racer blurred the lines between a typical vehicular experience and 3D platformers. It was silly, occasionally frustrating, and mostly fun, which is a legacy that Jet Car Stunts 2 [Free] lives up to.

Fundamentally this is the same game you know and love, but with a bunch of new content added on top, and controller support. You might think this is just a standard racing game, but once you actually give it a try it'll probably change your genre conventions a bit, to say the least. Your main objective is to get from point A to B through any means necessary, usually through massive jumps, nitro boosts, and healthy amounts of speed. Each level has a three medal rating scheme as well as a general score system, so you'll always strive to get better.

Stunt Car 1

Even with a set of upgraded visuals, Jet Car Stunts 2 isn't something you'll want to use to show off your device. It's pretty basic at its core, offering up simple visuals that get the job done without getting too flashy. There's also no music -- just the sounds of your engine to keep you company. Having said that, although it's not technically impressive, I absolutely love the abstract, floating design of the game's world. It evokes a sci-fi element that isn't found in most racing games, which makes the Jet Car Stunts series pretty unique. Think "floating Tetris pieces" and you'll have a good idea of what to expect.

This is mostly a silly racer built around fun, so precision isn't really its strong suit. Using the accelerometer is often times an exercise in frustration, and the learning curve is fairly high, due to the fact that you not only need to learn how to perfect your steering technique, but your jump skills as well. Jet Car Stunts 2 isn't just about making sharp turns, it's also about air -- and aiming your car off of a ramp is just as important as anything else. That's right, you'll also have to tilt your car when you're in the air, as well as judge ramps carefully so you don't over or undershoot them.

As a result, Stunts 2 has a pretty high learning curve that will weed out a number of players before they even reach the meat of the game. In fact, the developers even state "WARNING: This game will challenge you" on the game's official App Store description!  If you choose to stick with it though it can get extremely rewarding, especially on some of the high octane later levels with split-second decisions to be made.

There is a quick "rewind" button that can take you back to a checkpoint instantly, but you will crash -- a lot. There are also a number of different cars to try, all of which handle differently. Just when you think you've mastered your technique the game switches up your vehicle, and forces you to relearn everything again. It's a tad frustrating but also a hallmark of a rewarding design, because if you put in the time you will come out on top. While the controls can be to blame sometimes, there is another option that can make the game that much better.

Stunt Car 2

But should you choose to go the controller route, I'm pleased to report that it's pretty much flawless. I tested it with a MOGA Ace Power, and immediately after booting it up, everything was automatically mapped. R1 is for acceleration, L1 enacts a nitro boost, and the d-pad of course controls your car. It's like playing a console racer, and depending on the car, you'll be able to turn on a dime. If you ever pick up an MFi controller down the line, make sure you pick this one up.

Jet Car Stunts 2 is free to try with a ton of races available right out of the gate, but some content is locked. Should you spring for all of the IAP available ($4.99 nets you everything), you'll net hours upon hours of entertainment in the form of a whopping 120 events (all with three difficulty settings). In addition to the "from A to B" races that comprise the core set of stages, you'll also get Time Trials, traditional races, and a free style mode.

Stunt Car 4

Out of all of these, free style is probably the most fun, as it mirrors the classic Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series in tasking you with doing as many stunts and tricks as possible. It pretty much encapsulates the game's spirit, and it's fun to just mess around when you have some spare time. There's also a creation tool available (you need to purchase it in some form to keep your maps) that lets you race and share your own tracks.

For five bucks you can grab the complete pack to one of the most fun games on the App Store. It isn't going to offer you high quality visuals that push your device to the edge, nor is it going to push the envelope for racers in general. But if you just want to kill some time trying to get a car from one spot to another and put in the time to learn the ins and outs, Jet Car Stunts 2 is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. It basically feels like Sony's Wipeout for iOS, and that's a great thing.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • drlemon

    I'm not touching it, I HATE freemium

    /s

    Ok this game is awesome and worth picking up

    • hkgsulphate

      its not really freemium
      its like combining lite + paid into one app

      • mclifford82

        Also known as Lite (free) + paid (premium) = freemium.

      • thestapler

        but it doesn't keep charging you or run on some bullshit timing system. I think they did it right. They give you a demo for free then you give you the option to buy the whole thing. and what's more, is they even give you the option to buy everything a la carte if you only want certain features.

      • Doxxic

        Yes and You can also choose only one gaming style to pay for, which I Like because only the platforming is really my cup of tea. Which it is very very much btw

      • drlemon

        I know, it was a joke

  • drlemon

    Also there sure are a lot of 5 stars recently. I'm glad, yay great games!

    • rewind

      Five stars grow on trees....

      • drlemon

        That's good!

  • MrKershaEsq

    Ok yeah but can someone finally get round to reviewing Continue?9876543210? It's an indie game developed by a kid in his bedroom and it deserves recognition in some way.

  • postmodernpilot

    Spent so much time on this game already. Not even halfway through platforming levels on medium. Have a couple top times though. This is my favorite mobile game of all time.

  • dariusjr98

    Wow, three perfect scores already! Looks like 2014 is off to a good start.

  • WoeOfAftermath

    Loved the first game and this one is even better. But about the review: You had me up until you compared this game to Sony's Wipeout. I'm not really seeing the connection other than both games involve vehicles :(

    • ZarieoZ

      I didn't play wipeout, but I skipped that in the bases that maybe he meant both won't push the device to its limits nor do they have the best of visuals but they are mostly fun to play with & are a great experience on mobile :-) if he didn't mean so, I'm fine by my little interpretation ;-) onto waiting for the next article :D

      • Chq

        Can't find Wipeout in the german appstore.

    • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

      It's a bad comparison. Wipeout is all about speed and the best line, and has lots of combat. This is stunt racing with lots of retries. It's a good game though, don't let a dumb comment ruin it for you.

    • Magnalon

      They're very similar aesthetically and focused on speed/boosts.

  • josh_ando

    Would definitely be a contender for GOTY 2014 no matter which game hit this coming year

  • GaZ-OiD

    This came out the first day of 2014, there will be many players that bought it that day still playing it on the last day of 2014 and beyond

    A CLASSIC game that is awesome to play and has that one last go pull after twenty more last goes :)

  • C. Stubb

    Great game, although I'm afraid the review doesn't quite do it justice. Bad analogies, (this is nothing like "Wipeout") unfamiliar terminology, (Restart not "rewind", Jet Fuel not "nitro", platformer not "arcade racer") and poor analysis of gameplay mechanics (winning has everything to do with precision, contrary to what the author would have us believe) have me worrying that this masterpiece may not get the acknowledgement it deserves.

    • Magnalon

      Lots of nitpicking.

      • C. Stubb

        Quite right.

  • grammatonfeather

    This is more like the old stunt car racer on Amiga than wipeout. I like the introduction of the flying element too. It's now a flight sim and racing sim combined. Tilt controls work well on max setting.

    • postmodernpilot

      I never knew about Stunt Car Racer. It looks like it would have been my type of game back in the day!

      • grammatonfeather

        Stunt Car... Way ahead of its time. When most games were sprite based, stunt car had a nice 3d engine with car physics modeling. The tracks weren't as far out as jet car but still unusual. Most amazing was that it had multiplayer. I used to take my Amiga to a friends house and we'd connect them via a home made 3 wire parallel port cable. Side by side racing on stunt car in 3d. Looking back now, the fps was abysmal.

      • MrKershaEsq

        Yup, Stunt Car was a lot of fun in its day. Good innocent times.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com/ Silent Rocco

    Best game of the year so far. By far. And so damn challenging (I'm looking at you, Jet Car).

  • fleshman

    I really liked the first one, but this is just way to repertitive without achievements and gamecenter... They also abandon their first game with OpenFeint...
    Too bad.

  • Doxxic

    I'd Like to mention how wonderfully freaky the tracks already are when they're not even hard yet, compared to version 1.

    And flight is incredibly hard right From the beginning.

    All in all to me it's a Total blast. Definitely in my top 5 ever!

    • grammatonfeather

      At first I was totally hopeless with the flight. Then I realised trick is just thrusting a little to prevent car flipping back out of control. Steering in flight can be tricky but again once you learn to use right amount of thrust and the brakes then it suddenly becomes do-able. Tilt set to maximum in options.

  • trueaxis

    Late reply... however your comment is not correct, on Hard the tracks have more and bigger jumps, and smaller hoops, and on easy, you are allowed to jump through hoops that you crash into on medium and hard.

Jet Car Stunts 2 Reviewed by Chris Carter on . Rating: 5