Generally, games that involve cars are set on a racetrack of some kind and pit you against a slew of opponents. Jet Car Stunts is a far cry from this. Instead, you must control a high-tech jet-powered automobile through a series of intricate tracks high in the air to prove your worth. Despite its difficulty and lack of true multiplayer, we found it to be a thrill ride.
Jet Car Stunts is comprised of two modes: platforming and time trials. Platforming has you trying to complete an airborne obstacle course in the least amount of retries and time possible. The challenge is that you must do this in less than ten tries to unlock further levels. This is made easier through checkpoints along the way, which act as spawn points if you crash or fall off the edge.
Prepare for landing.
The big trick behind the platforming levels is learning how to manipulate your car. Aside from the forward and reverse buttons, you can also brake or activate jets to speed yourself up. Using all of these together is key. For example, jetting up over a jump and then hitting the air brakes will help you glide in the air for a period of time. On the other hand, you can also hit the brakes on a turn to do a steep burnout. Although there were four options for button placement, we would have liked to manually set up our interface structure. Adjustable sensitivity for the tilt controls is a great addition, though.
Also available is a time trial mode. Like one would expect, this is all about speed. The course structures for these levels are like racetracks in that they start and end at the same point. You must complete each track in a certain amount of time to achieve the goal and unlock more levels. On top of this, you must still watch out for jumps and get ready to brake or speed up at any time.
While the gameplay is great, Jet Car Stunts is very punishing to newcomers due to a steep difficulty curve. Even on the first level, the tactics boil down to trial and error, usually resulting in failing to meet the retry requirement multiple times. That isn’t to say it is impossible, as practice makes perfect, but those looking to be eased into a game will likely hit the home button quickly.
Like Star Fox on the ground.
Also disappointing was the lack of any multiplayer. While the platforming levels may not be suited for this type of play, all of the time trial tracks would be great for head-to-head racing. Even with OpenFeint and all its features, we feel the lack of an online component or even enemy bots for single player mode was a missed opportunity.
Graphically, Jet Car Stunts doesn’t disappoint. It isn’t anything over the top, but even when there are lots of objects in the background the frame rate is silky smooth. One issue was that the all-white track sometimes made it hard to see upcoming drops.
If you don’t mind the trial and error factor of Jet Car Stunts, then it is a very rewarding experience. Although it is not perfect by any stretch, we imagine that there are many people who will put several hours into honing their skills.