Crash Test Dummies
| Crash Test Dummies

With all the car recalls we're currently suffering, you'd think your average crash test dummy would be knee deep in work right now.

Apparently not, and if Crash Test Dummies is to be believed their time off is spent experimenting with their own mortality. This is essentially a theme park for all things crash, bang, and wallop.

The trick is to put the poor old dummy through as much pain and carnage as you can, your spineless friend - quite endearingly - coming with his own submissive personality. In terms of plot, each level is an testbed to see what the dummy can put up with.

In reality, Crash Test Dummies is like Burnout's crash junctions meets Crazy Penguin Catapult, mixed with a whole lot of Ragdoll Blaster for good measure.

Dummy fun

The end result is a whole heap of fun. The game gives you a variety of ways to launch your dummy (a personal favourite being a diving board style run-and-jump, which sees you triggering springs on the floor with the '5' key), with you initially taking charge of a swinging ball positioned behind him, where you place it determining the force, speed, and direction of the impact.

Once in the air, it's a question of hoping your dummy hits as many objects as possible. Extra points are awarded for mid-flight tricks and picking up stars. As the levels progress, the game also gives you some influence beyond the initial launch: hitting the '5' key triggers further springs or punching fists that prod your dummy back into the action.

Hitting the target

After the first few rounds, play is mixed up even further. A pre-level editing mode lets you add or even move certain objects, making them easier to collide with. There's also a finish post target of sorts also thrown in, requiring distance rather than destruction.

It's fair to say that success relies rather heavily on luck. Sometimes the best laid plans are undone by a freakish collision or two. Likewise, fortuitous bounces can also play right into your hands.

As such, it would be daft to take what's on offer here too seriously, but it's not hard to enjoy this particular dummy's hard slog at the office.

Crash Test Dummies

A bruising encounter, Crash Test Dummies' simple but addictive playground offers some ballsy, if a touch unrefined, play.