New York Rollercoaster Rush

It’s human nature to expect constant improvement from others – particularly those we look up to and depend on for entertainment.

David Bowie’s 1980s output was a pale shadow of his 70s stuff. Luis Antonio Valencia isn’t fit to lace Cristiano Ronaldo’s boots. And that Martin Scorsese’s lost his way a bit, hasn’t he?

Few get away with treading water in the entertainment business, and any sign of a retrograde step is mercilessly jumped upon.

You won’t get any such outraged sentiments from us over New York Rollercoaster Rush, but there’s no doubting this is a step back for the series.

One track mind

Still, much of the core Rollercoaster Rush gameplay remains unchanged from previous versions.

You work your way through each of the 99 rollercoaster tracks from a 2D side-on perspective, using ‘6’ and ‘4’ to accelerate and decelerate according to the undulating course design.

Your ‘coaster frequently leaves the tracks, which increases the pleasure of your passengers (and hence your score), but if you rejoin the track at too severe an angle you’ll lose a car or even crash out completely.

It’s a formula that’s as fun and instinctive as ever. Unfortunately, the previous mobile entry – Rollercoaster Revolution – brought with it a number of delightful embellishments that haven’t made the cut.

Off track

That means there are no smiley pick-ups, which were an entertaining way of showing you a more daring (but attainable) route and an effective inducement to return to each level to mop up. There are no power-ups, which served to liven up gameplay that tends to become a little samey after a while.

There’s also the damning fact that the NY theme that New York Rollercoaster Rush sells itself on simply doesn’t make for as stimulating a background as Rollercoaster Revolution’s nine globe trotting regions.

In fact, though the courses change, there are only three distinct areas – suburban, Central Park and downtown Manhattan – which are weakly altered by being able to play them at midday, dusk or night-time.

A whole mode (Survival) has also gotten the chop, as has the ability to pick from several types of rollercoaster car.

It may sound as if we’re being overly harsh on New York Rollercoaster Rush – it’s certainly a fun and finely polished game in typical Digital Chocolate style.

But the fact that it’s a thinly veiled reskin of an older game, Rollercoaster Rush: 99 Tracks, leaves us mildly peeved at the lack of progress.

New York Rollercoaster Rush

Though it retains the familiar bright and breezy Rollercoaster Rush gameplay, this NY version comes across as a rather cynical reskin that overlooks many of the improvements made by its immediate predecessor