Re-volt Classic is the latest port from the classic Sega Dreamcast system to iOS, and it seems like a strange choice. The original game was a fun, if flawed RC car racer, full of interesting track settings and power-ups, but unlikely to be remembered in the vastness of video gaming history. The iOS version is essentially a straight port of the original with few updates beyond making it playable on a touchscreen.
The game has a lot going for it. There are plenty of tracks, ranging from suburban neighborhoods and houses to outright sci-fi settings. Speed boosts, electrical bolts, rockets, and other power-ups are waiting to be picked up throughout the tracks, and there are always plenty of strange obstacles to maneuver around.
Welcome to Deadwood.
There are also a ton of cars to unlock, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and look. The Dreamcast-era graphics are looking pretty worn though, and the visuals are all static and lifeless by today’s standards. Textures are simple and animations are kept to a minimum. Worse, there’s no real feeling of crazy speed, even when jamming on the turbo boost.
Making matters frustrating are the various control schemes. The game is, by default, set to auto-acceleration and simply tapping the left or right side of the screen to steer. By all rights, this should have been ideal, but the sweet spot for getting the car to steer is absurdly tiny (or outright unresponsive). Shaking the device resets the car, which is a necessity as steering in reverse is almost impossible.
Who’s endangered now?
The second control scheme places left and right steering arrows on the left, and gas and brake on the right. This works relatively well, but still doesn’t feel as responsive as it should. The third control scheme is a bizarre and nearly unworkable dual analog set-up that just doesn’t work well.
The variety of tracks and fun power ups give Re-volt some legs as a decent arcade racer, but the issues with controls and graphics hamper the joy too much for anyone beyond fans of the original. With a bit more tweaking, Re-volt Classic might turn into a recommendable racer, but as it stands, it’s just not.