Streetbike: Full Blast Review

Chillingo, like many publishers, has its share of games that are good, and those that are not so good. And unfortunately, Streetbike: Full Blast falls into the latter category.

The premise is simple: you race motorcyclists down a stretch of road while avoiding the odd car here and there, driving through “$” icons to score more cash, and lightning bolt icons to gain more short-lived nitro boost as you strive to take first place. And it works, to some degree, except for that last part. Actually taking first, or getting anywhere near it, is quite a chore thanks to the controls.

Admittedly, your mileage may vary. There are two control options here, and they’re like choosing between traversing a flight of stairs in a wheelchair or by walking on your hands. Now, we’ve seen some people do some pretty incredible things in wheelchairs and on their hands, given practice of course, but for most of us, making it to the top seems like an impossible dream.

Watch the knee!

The default controls scheme has you steer by tilting the phone back and forth. This would be what we consider the worse of two evils, even after adjusting the steering sensitivity in the options. Attempting to steer this way resulted in us turning our phone back almost 90 degrees, making us look like cavemen trying to accept an incoming call, and it wasn’t even effective enough to be worth the trouble.

The other option is a little more traditional, with a pair of on-screen arrows occupying the lower-left corner of the screen. These work better, but are not without their issues. Trying to slide your thumb from steering left to steering right seems to freak the game right out, as it appears to almost further turn you in the direction you had been going, rather than changing to the direction you want to go, and you’ll likely find yourself facing the wrong direction on the street as you attempt to right yourself. Lifting your thumb away from the screen and placing it back down on the other arrow is something you’ll learn to do before long.

Vroom vroom.

And for all the options they do have, there’s nothing so that you can flip the phone and not find yourself covering the speaker with the hand which you’ll likely want to have on the accelerator (unless you opt for the “always on” acceleration). They also seem to have forgotten to include the “fun” option.

These issues aside, the game is a tremendous resource hog. We had to delete a number of games from our phone just to get it to fit, and after doing so, there would still be times when it would start to skip and slow down. For what you’re getting from this game, it’s hardly worth the trade-off, even for 99 cents– never mind all of the little in-app purchases that cost as much or more than the game itself.

There might be a fun game somewhere in Streetbike: Full Blast, but odds are you’ll be too busy playing the metagame of “getting the controls to work effectively enough to get you to the finish line with a high enough rank to proceed” to ever really find it.

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