Fumes Stunt Racer is a re-imagining of the classic first person racer Stunt Car Racer that many will remember from the early 90s. I am not one of them, so perhaps the whole allure of Fumes is in its nostalgia factor. All I experienced was a graphically underwhelming racing game with poorly executed accelerometer controls that is so difficult it is frustrating. Somehow I doubt that is what many gamers remember about the well received original.
I’m not a negative Nancy. I’m really not, I just wish that developers would spend as much time perfecting their games before release as they do when they are creating them. There is a reason why the large console developers test their product for so long, they are ensuring that players get the most fleshed out game possible and at the very least they do it so that they don’t catch a whirlwind of flack from gamers. Mobile gaming should be no different.
I am 100% positive that if Fumes had spent more time ironing out its bugs (and there are lots) that it would have made the game on which it was inspired very proud, but because the process was skipped (or skimped on) we got accelerometer steering that was far too loose to control, bland graphics with low res textures, and choppy frame rates.
The game features 15 tracks, but don’t expect to play them all any time soon. To unlock a new track you must first earn a trophy for the track you’re on now, which due to the horrendous steering is extremely difficult. You’ll fall over the edge of tracks more times than you can count making it near impossible to complete the required laps under time, why no one thought to put rails around the tracks is beyond me. It’s just not the controls and/or graphics either. The tracks are barren and void of anything more exciting than a couple of jumps (which again would be more satisfying if the steering was more solid).
It’s not all doom and gloom though, developer Sector3 promises to address many of complaints that gamers are having in an upcoming update. Here is what they have planned for version 1.1:
· Improved framerate on all iDevice versions
· 7 new tracks, taking the game to 22 tracks
· Rebalanced game difficulty and adjusted trophy times
· Rebuilt tracks with extra wide run-off areas
· More trackside detail and improved track lighting
· Full screen anti-aliasing (on iPhone 3GS, 4 and iPod touch 3rd and 4th Gen)
· Selectable lap count (3, 5, 7, or 10 laps)
· Physics tuning adjustments
· More sound effects
· Collidable track objects – watch out!
· Improved Options screen layout and responsiveness
· General bug fixes
Fumes Stunt Racer is a Universal app.
Check it out in the App Store here.