Updated: Jet Car Stunts Review

The initial release of Jet Car Stunts suffered from an extremely steep difficulty curve. With the latest update, True Axis has improved on this aspect of their game by leaps and bounds.

One of the new features is an in-depth interactive tutorial, allowing you to choose between a wide array of different techniques to practice and master. While this is aimed at newcomers, we picked up a few good tips that improved our performance.

To appeal to a more casual audience, True Axis also included an easy difficulty level. This nets you unlimited jet fuel, no penalty for retries, and simplified crash physics. However, there is also no online scoring available, which we would like to see changed in the future. These changes are a great way to ease newcomers into the gameplay, and also serve as a practice mode for hardcore stunt drivers.

We are glad to award Jet Car Stunts with the 4 it now deserves. If you hesitated to try this one out before, we say pick it up now.

Jet Car Stunts’ recent 1.3 update brings with it OpenFeint Gold, the social network’s mark of approval that recognizes what they feel are the best offerings on the App Store. True Axis worked with OpenFeint to bring some new online functionality to the game as well: downloadable replay videos and ghost racing.

On the leaderboards, races that were run after the update launched have a video icon next to them. Tapping this allows you to watch the performance of your fellow gamers, and if you’ve unlocked the level, challenge a ghost copy of their car to a time trial. You can also challenge other players directly. All of this adds a lot of extra value and gives you more of a reason to keep playing and improving your racing.

We have had a lot of fun with this new functionality, and congratulate True Axis on reaching the OpenFeint Gold standard. If you have yet to take this trickster for a spin, now’s the time to give it a go.

True Axis recently released a lite version of Jet Car Stunts. While these are generally aimed at finding new players, this one in particular will likely be of interest to current owners of the game.

Instead of simply allowing people to play a couple of levels from the full game, True Axis developed five platforming and three time trial levels exclusive to the lite version. On top of this, there are OpenFeint leaderboards and downloadable replay videos to complement them. The full tutorial is included as well.

For both existing stunt-doers and those who aspire to join their ranks (and frankly, even those who don’t), this is a no-brainer download.

In recent updates, Jet Car Stunts has been loaded up with even more content, including additional levels, cheats, and iPhone 4 optimization.

You can now download the levels from the lite version in the full game, as well as play levels from impossible difficulty in casual mode. On top of this, a level pack is available as DLC for $1.99. This includes 26 platforming levels ranging across all five difficulty modes.

The best part of the update is the cheat system. To access it, tap the corners of the screen in the following order: top-left, bottom-right, top-right, bottom-left. After doing this, you can choose two new car skins and unlock all the levels from the get-go.

iPhone 4 owners will also be happy to know that Jet Car Stunts is now optimized for the Retina display and, as expected, looks beautiful. If you still haven’t picked it up, this gives you even more incentive.

All in all, we still love this game. Its incredible that the developers are supporting it months after launch with heaps of new content.

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.

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