Turbo Camels
| Turbo Camels

In the politically correct modern world, it's just possible the term 'camel jockey' could be deemed offensive. Some folk might even argue that all humour based upon national stereotypes is outmoded and unacceptable.

Clearly Swedish developer Mr. Goodliving has a somewhat more relaxed attitude to the subject, having created a game that not only makes the aforementioned occupation its central subject, but also manages to cram in a cast of characters including Mounties, monks and what appear to be Mexicans (Hmm, looks more like a Patagonian to me – International Ed).

Yet, even the most ardent anti-defamation campaigner would be hard-pushed not to see the funny side, for this charming racer has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek.

Not that you should be entirely fooled by the colourful graphics and lolloping animations of the camels, though, as the racing itself is serious stuff. Right from the off you'll have to contend with some decidedly aggressive opposition, with fellow camel riders jostling for position at every opportunity and only too happy to nudge you into the cactus, shrubs and Bedouin tents that dot the landscape.

But it's the courses themselves that represent the sternest challenge. Although 'courses' is perhaps too grand a name, bringing with it connotations of smooth curves and specially prepared surfaces. What we have here are more like a selection of mountain paths etched into inhospitable scrubland that even the roughest rambler might think twice about tackling. Moreover, they're packed with the sort of tight twists and turns that would keep Schumacher awake at night.

Admittedly, your camel is a highly manoeuvrable beast, able both to sprint forward, edge sideways crab-like and even reverse if required. What's more, the controls are responsive to the extent of feeling almost analogue (that is, it feels like the camels move faster the harder and longer you press).

That said, Turbo Camels provides a stern challenge for both your reactions and your mobile's joypad, and this can easily spill over into frustration – particularly when you fall foul of the occasionally questionable collision detection, which sees your camel snagging on a cactus you thought you'd cleared.

This is by no means enough to stop you from going back, especially in light of the league-style points system that keeps you in the running until the final chequered flag. The three-tiered championship format (in which races are divided into three mini tournaments of three tracks each) not only offers plenty of racing action, but also provides an additional level of strategy in that you find yourself keeping tabs on particular racers and trying to be particularly aggressive towards your closest rivals.

Manage to win the championship outright and even further longevity is unlocked in the form of a tougher difficulty level and an Arcade mode, which enables you to keep racing until you lose.

Granted, we'd love to have seen a multiplayer mode and maybe the chance to coup up your camel with a little training, but these are the sort criticisms that make a difference between silver and gold. As it stands, Turbo Camels offers an enjoyably manic challenge that may not spread peace and love but that will certainly entertain you.

Turbo Camels

A frantic and fun high-speed racing game with enough depth to keep you coming back, this one certainly won't give you the hump
Chris James
Chris James
A footy game fanatic and experienced editor of numerous computing and game titles, bossman Chris is up for anything – including running Steel Media (the madman).