Jet Car Stunts has you leaving on a jet car, but you can be sure you'll be back again. Challenging levels and solid controls ensure this high-speed endeavour is worth buckling up for.
The game lets you put pedal to medal across 37 stages that blend racing and platforming. A dozen time trials have you racing through checkpoints to earn medals, while 25 platforming events test your driving skills with precarious jumps, loops, and other tricky obstacles.
Both modes blend speed and platforming, the goal being to overcome pitfalls and platforms that litter the route to the finish line. The clock is your enemy in time trials, whereas platforming stages award medals based on the number of attempts needed for completion.
You're allowed an infinite number of tries, but bronze medals are only awarded for completing a stage in under ten attempts.
Getting through the initial set of platforming tracks and time trials is easy enough, but the difficulty ramps up quickly. Literally, too, as long jumps, angled ascents, and cleverly situated platforms pose serious challenges in later levels.
While none of the tracks feels devious, the trial and error that characterises them is frustrating. It's difficult to fault Jet Car Stunts given that trial and error gameplay is one of the pistons that keeps this engine running, but it affects the experience for better or worse.
Minute errors amplify into game-breaking mistakes that force you to restart at a checkpoint or even the entire event. Having to repeat tricky platforming sections, particularly in time trials where the emphasis rests squarely on speed, becomes annoying.
Managing your trajectory with disciplined tips of your device is essential to staying on the narrow courses. Even more important is getting a grip on your car's velocity, leveraging acceleration and brake, jets and braking flaps.
Stop and go
In Jet Car Stunts, deceleration is as important as acceleration. Many of the toughest stages require slowing down to pass through suspended rings and prevent your vehicle from flying off the track during a hard turn. The tracks are no doubt interesting, but their increasing trickiness demands a cool approach and steady hand.
How quickly you learn to employ jet propulsion in concert with braking flaps determines the amount of frustration you experience. As soon as you get a handle on the controls and learn to use the physics to your advantage, Jet Car Stunts becomes amazingly fun.
Comparing your best times online infuses a good amount of replay value. Introducing downloadable ghost data for the top leaderboard entries would help extend it further, as would a track editor complete with online sharing.
These are nothing more than bumps along the road for Jet Car Stunts, omissions that do little to slow down the fun. While the trial and error gameplay occasionally annoys, it also encourages you to come back for more, challenging you to buckle up for just one more try of this outstanding platform racer.