Remember those toy cars with the pullback motors? You'd wind their little clockwork engines by pulling them along the kitchen floor, and then release your grip to see the diecast automobile careen across your linoleum raceway. They were great.
And do you remember Lego? Of course you do – those Danish blocks are some of the most beloved toys in the world. They were great too.
But if anyone was under the impression that video games are the sum of their constituent concepts, Lego Pullback Racers concisely refutes that theory.
Using an Angry Birds-style pull to launch control scheme, Lego Pullback Racers has you firing unattractive cars across a variety of bland industrial landscapes.
In each race against the clock, you'll use tilt or touch-based controls to steer your vehicle towards the collectable currency that litters each track. Collect enough, and you can use it to unlock your next warehouse racecourse.
But since Pullback Racers's sound and visuals fail to capture any real sense of speed or heft, the races feel slow and your cars seem brittle. This sensation certainly isn't helped by the absence of any AI opponents, or the stop-start nature of each and every session.
Because each tug on your diminutive vehicle will only propel you forward for a couple of seconds - after that, you'll just roll to an anticlimactic halt.
It's a serviceable idea in theory. Once you run out of momentum, you're free to pull back once again, perhaps shooting your racer off in another direction in order to snag some more in-game currency.
But this setup simply kills the game's momentum. Although speedy runs are rewarded with in-game currency, there are no nail-biting chequered flag finishes in Pullback Racers. Events are just too pedestrian to become invested in, even when compared to some pretty mediocre competition.
So while our enjoyment of Angry Birds Go was certainly dampened by obtrusive IAPs, it's clear that Rovio has put Lego in the shade when it comes to the racing fundamentals.Lego Pullback Racers simply isn't a particularly confident or memorable experience. In other words, it isn't great.