Rollercoaster Rush 3D

Alas, the days are long gone of rollercoasters that leap off the rails at the first sign of a bump and are therefore constantly a hair's breadth away from depositing passengers into the nearest burger van.

Pesky health and safety regulations, eh? They'll be telling us Ferris wheels held together with gaffer tape are illegal next.

Thankfully, those life-endangering coasters live on in Digital Chocolate's Rollercoaster Rush 3D, which is a spangly new version of the 2D game released last year.

Like the original, it puts you in charge of a rollercoaster, with the aim of giving passengers as thrilling a ride as possible without any casualties. How? By a simple two-button control mechanism that lets you speed up or brake at any point in your ride.

It's all about judging the track, of course. Speed off an up-slope, and your coaster will arc through the air before (hopefully) landing back on the track ready for the next one. Meanwhile, negotiating loop-the-loops requires you to have built up enough velocity leading up to them.

The penalty for failure? Well, your passengers get tipped out, although, mercifully, they all appear to have been kitted out with parachutes so as to avoid bloodshed. That's proactive risk management in action right there, folks.

You score points for each run, depending on how thrilled your passengers were, and assuming they made it to the end. Their happiness is signalled by little smiley face icons that pop out throughout the ride, whenever you hit particularly fast speeds or achieve big jumps.

You also score extra points by winning 'awards', such as the 'Big Air' award if you do a really big jump, or the 'No Brakes' award if you don't use the brakes at all during a run.

The game's Career mode features 30 tracks spread across three countries – Australia, France and the USA – each with its own visual style. You progress through one track at a time, getting a star rating for your performance out of five, with your total number of stars dictating what you unlock.

Besides tracks, as you progress you unlock additional cars and passengers, which enables you to go back to earlier tracks and get the full five-star rating.

Pleasingly, Rollercoaster Rush 3D is another example of a mobile game that lets you unlock everything fairly easily, but then provides loads of depth as you go back and try to grab the top scores (see also Playman Extreme Running for another recent example). Digital Chocolate and RealArcade have both included this in a number of their games, and it's great to see it here again.

How about those visuals, then? Well, Rollercoaster Rush 3D looks great, and the swooping camera viewpoint is enough to leave you feeling faintly queasy (that's not a criticism, by the way). It makes good use of 3D-capable handsets without spoiling the two-button purity of the original game's control mechanism, so is a great advert for how 3D can improve, not complicate mobile games.

We can see ourselves playing it for weeks yet, to secure those elusive five-star ratings. What's more, there's a multiplayer mode for up to four people, where you take it in turns to try and get the highest score on a track.

Whether you played the original 2D version or not, this is one of the best casual 3D games mobile has to offer.

Rollercoaster Rush 3D

Spectacular graphics blended with simple keypad-friendly controls – marvellous
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