Don’t you hate it when you’ve just robbed a bank and you pile into your getaway vehicle to perform a spectacular leap to freedom across a canyon only to have pesky gravity stop you from making it?
The laws of physics, eh? What have they ever done for the hard-working, honest bank-robber? Nothing.
Thank the Gods that Reckless Getaway does away with such nonsense as ‘physics’ and ‘realism’ and replaces them with a welcome dose of madness and destruction.
The importance of being chased
The first thing to note about Reckless Getaway is that it isn’t a racer as such. It’s all about the chase – less Need for Speed: Shift and more a cartoony Burnout meets an over-the-top Driver.
But enough comparisons. The main mode of the game puts you in control of a getaway driver being pursued by police along motorways, country roads, coastal drives, and icy, mountainous backroads.
The aim is to slalom between traffic and jump the occasional gorge, all the while collecting coins and leaving a destructive wake of wrecks and totalled police cars.
Each stunt or coin pick-up earns you a set number of points, all of which add up your final score – measured as a one to four star rating. As with a lot of smartphone games, you'll need a certain number of stars to unlock later levels.
Please press the power button
The driving is all controlled using the D-pad and is generally satisfying, even though the car's slippery and drifty handling takes a bit of getting used to, in a 1970s Starsky and Hutch kind of way.
It’s pretty much that simple. The only other button used is X, which is dedicated to power-ups that you collect as you drive.
These can be devlish fun, like the shockwave ability that swats all cars around you into another lane or off a mountainside depending on how sadistic you’re feeling at the time. The only problem is that there are only three types of power-up – a speed boost, a bunny-hop ability, and the shockwave. They're all great, but a few more might have added some variety.
Another irritation is that the bunny-hop and shockwaves come with three uses, but collecting a power-up cancels out the last one, meaning you lose any useful shockwaves that remain if you accidentally collect a speed boost.
These are only tiny scratches on Reckless Getaway’s shiny paintwork, though. The real problem is that occasionally your car goes out of view below the camera. In these brief moments you still retain control but can’t tell exactly where you are on the road, which obviously makes dodging oncoming lorries difficult.
It doesn’t happen if you keep your speed up, but when it does happen it's especially annoying, since getting your car wrecked lowers the number of stars it’s possible to score by the end of the road, and going too far off the screen loses you points.
This grief aside, Reckless Getaway is a playful and even sometimes challenging pursuit. The road to four-starring every level is not without its potholes (it sometimes even involves having to thoroughly learn the route) but in a world where physics are an afterthought, you can learn to enjoy a bumpy ride.
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