I have been driving around my 2001 Chevy Cavalier ever since I was 15. Its golden color makes it shockingly ugly to the eye but my old "clunker" has faithfully served me well over the past couple years. However, it would not survive in the sandbox arena of REKT! [$1.99]. REKT! is an arcade stunt driving game where you traverse an open course in a variety of different vehicles, all while performing various stunts and maneuvers.

The entire purpose of REKT! is to perform as many stunts as you can in a limited amount of time. There are a few time pick-ups that you can acquire throughout the environment to extend your overall time. Each stunt is worth a certain score and you can add bonus multipliers to your overall score by stringing multiple stunts/tricks together in rapid succession. You can compare your end-score you recieve from each run to other players through leaderboards. Also, the higher score you obtain, the more cars you will unlock. Each car drives a bit differently from the next and it was fun to experiment with each one individually. It kept the gameplay feeling fresh.

There are numerous challenges to complete during each run within REKT!'s sandbox arena. These challenges include doing a certain number of flips, spins, and drifts on specific obstacles throughout the arena. I appreciated the variety of challenges I encountered throughout my playthrough of the game. It gave me specific goals that caused me to repeatedly experience a "one more time" phenomena of trial and error whenever I didn't complete a challenge. You also receive a certain amount of REKT (REKT!'s form of currency) for each challenge you complete. Once you save up enough, you can spend it on a spin wheel for a chance to unlock new cars and cosmetics.

These challenges would be an absolute chore if it weren't for REKT!'s tremendously simple and smooth controls. Your cars automatically accelerate as you steer them left and right by pressing on the left and right sides of the screen. Swiping your fingers across the screen in different directions will cause your car to flip and spin. Tapping and holding the screen mid-flip or mid-spin stops your car's rotation. You can also hit the brakes and reverse your car by pressing the bottom-middle of your screen. However, it was awfully awkward to break or reverse on my iPad because of the need to reach across the larger screen to tap the correct area. All in all, I loved how there were no buttons convoluting the screen. It allowed me to completely focus on the gameplay of REKT! instead of its controls.

There is only one sandbox arena in REKT!. Its layout is well-crafted and consists of many ramps, loops, platforms, and destructible obstacles that inspire creativity and exploration. However, I wish there were more arenas to burn rubber in. After a while I found myself getting bored of driving around the same environment for so long. According to the game's developers, new arenas and cars will be added to the game in future updates. I also wish that there was a free-roaming /practice mode in the game where you could mess around as long as you desired, instead of only offering the fixed time constraints of the game-mode that is currently available.

It's important to note that I experienced a few glitches in REKT!. On a few occasions, my car wouldn't drive into the arena at the start of a run. My car also got stuck on the edge of 2 ramps. Both events happened rarely but they happened nonetheless. Fortunately, REKT! hosts vibrant, psychedelic colors and aesthetics while maintaining a solid 60 fps during gameplay. The game's music was catchy and complemented its visuals well, but I found it to be a bit too repetitive after a while. I ended up listening to my own tunes after an hour or so of hearing the game's music.

Despite these minuscule glitches and gripes, I really enjoyed recklessly driving around REKT!'s eye-catching sandbox arena. Landing complicated stunts and achieving higher scores (all while unlocking cars and cosmetics) kept the game feeling fresh and satisfying. Its controls were a pleasure to utilize and I never felt that I was being cheated out of a high score by the game itself. Every mistake felt like it was solely my own. My biggest complaint with the game is the lack of another arena or game-mode. However, isn't that a fantastic complaint to have? For 2 bucks, you can't go wrong with snagging it. If you're still on the fence, check out other people's impressions of REKT! in the game's forum thread and feel free to leave impressions of your own!

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • http://wizodd.tumblr.com Wizard of Odyssey

    This game is like the Stunt mode in San Francisco Rush 2049, WHICH IS A VERY GOOD THING, and I love it.

  • HelperMonkey

    Nice review, Wayne.
    I’ve been hesitating here, but this really does look fun.
    Meanwhile, I had a Chevy Cavalier too. The engine in those things is too good for the vehicle. It’s like the brains in the zombies in The Walking Dead. If the engine keeps working they just keep going, long after they’re falling apart and should be dead.

    • Wayne Skabelund

      That is the best analogy I have read in quite a while! I completely agree!

  • mrfatuous

    I fully agree with the idea of a practice mode.

  • jabbasoft

    Wish someone would port/re-imagine Stunt Car Racer - I like the combination of time trial racing plus the jeopardy of hitting ramps at the wrong speed/slant.. but this looks good, and nice review

    • Hiraether

      That's what I was hoping but it's way more difficult to do tricks.

  • Hiraether

    Am I the only one who hates the controls??

    • Hiraether

      Also, the arena isn't a sandbox; it's timed. The entire point of sandbox play is creative "stress free" fun. I bought it based on this review and the comments and no one reported correctly that it's all time trial based. I just don't want or need the stress. As a disabled gamer I rely on Te accuracy here. This is the first time I've ever had so much as a quibble. I need games that are relaxing. This just wasn't right for me. Please don't confuse sandbox with arena play. Just because it has elements of one doesn't make it a big sandbox to play in like I had imagined from the writing. I now see I got the wrong idea, but it wasn't clearly communicated in the review. For lack of control options, no true sandbox, slippery physics, and constant acceleration without being able to change it, I would personally rate this much lower. 3.5 stars seems more appropriate as the game is so small. Perhaps it's my old phone. Maybe I just can get the hang of this. But a way to practice would solve it, so I still have to give it lower marks. It certainly isn't as good as people are saying... it could be, but it still feels beta to me.

      • Wayne Skabelund

        As for the timed issue, you said that no one reported on it being timed but in the review I said: “The entire purpose of REKT! is to perform as many stunts as you can in a limited amount of time. There are a few time pick-ups that you can acquire throughout the environment to extend your overall time.”

        Also, the suggestions for improvements I made for the game referred to a lack of a non-time trial mode: “I also wish that there was a free-roaming/practice mode in the game where you could mess around as long as you desired, instead of only offering the fixed time constraints of the game-mode that is currently available.”

        Finally, in response to the “sandbox” issue, I looked up the definition of a sandbox-style game and it’s as follows: “A sandbox is a style of game in which minimal character limitations are placed on the gamer, allowing the gamer to roam and change a virtual world at will.” You can roam the arena in any way you please. It’s completely open to the player’s imagination and for them to traverse it in many different ways (while performing unique tricks).

        I’m sincerely sorry that you somehow missed reading these points in my review. I also understand that the definition of “sandbox” has become quite subjective to the gaming community, as of late. We are all entitled to our opinions on what score a game deserves and I respect yours! I hope the game’s new updates satisfy you in the end! Thanks for commenting!:)

      • Wayne Skabelund

        You stated that "no one reported correctly that it's all time trial based". However, there are a couple comments within my review that say otherwise: "The entire purpose of REKT! is to perform as many stunts as you can in a limited amount of time. There are a few time pick-ups that you can acquire throughout the environment to extend your overall time", as well as my comment stating that "I also wish that there was a free-roaming/practice mode in the game where you could mess around as long as you desired, instead of only offering the fixed time constraints of the game-mode that is currently available." I am sorry that you somehow missed/overlooked these comments within my review.

        As for your sandbox problem, the definition of a sandbox-type game is: "A sandbox is a style of game in which minimal character limitations are placed on the gamer, allowing the gamer to roam and change a virtual world at will. In contrast to a progression-style game, a sandbox game emphasizes roaming and allows a gamer to select tasks." REKT! fits this definition well. You are thrown into an open arena that you can roam through in any way you desire, while doing numerous unique tricks/maneuvers. A player can select challenges/tasks that may be personal, or they can select tasks/challenges through the game's specific list of challenges. It places the entirety of exploration and imagination in the player's hands. It's important to note that the application's description in the App Store also describes it as a sandbox game. I understand that the term "sandbox" has become quite subjective within the gaming scene but it's important to keep it's original definition in mind.

        All in all, I still respect your opinions of the game and I acknowledge that we all have different tastes. I just wanted to show you that the review did provide information that you were initially unaware of. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and commenting! 😀

      • Hiraether

        The subjectivity of the App Store and your editorial are flawed because genres themselves only exist for critics and fans, never creators. The quotes still never say it's ONLY timed. I just wanted to have slow paced fun. The App Store agrees with you so... the issue is rhetorical and due to capitalism destroying all semblance of definition.

  • Superdio

    mfi support?

REKT! Reviewed by Wayne Skabelund on . Rating: 4.5