Review: Buggy Coaster
Roller coasters and RC buggies are not a natural pair. However, the developers of Buggy Coaster have done just that. This 2D sideways scrolling game somewhat defies classification. Racing games usually require you to follow the path ahead, in this game you have to draw the track for yourself, while hitting bonuses and avoiding traps. It’s a unique formula, and requires fast reactions. Is it a good challenge, or just too fast?
Version Reviewed: 1.02
Buggy Coaster offers a deceptively simple proposition – keep rolling as fast as you can by drawing your own track. The trick is that the faster you go the more you score – but the faster you go, the less time you have to react to obstacles.
As soon as you place a finger on the screen, the buggy is dropped into play, and the screen starts scrolling and drawing your track. From then on, you may as well glue your finger to the screen because if you take it away, there’ll be no track and the buggy will fall into the depths of game over.
You have to draw your own road.
Drawing up and down makes the track rise and fall, but moving left and right gives you limited control over the buggy’s speed. To get a massive speed boost there are gates and tunnels to drive through. You get plenty of warning that these are coming thanks to icons with a distance countdown. If you manage to catch all of these your speed reaches insane levels – so much so that a jet of flame will come out the back of your radio controlled racer!
Ways in which to boost your speed.
Not everything speeds you up though – there are things that can kill your speed too. There are walls that will instantly destroy your buggy, and 'no track' zones that prevent drawing. Warnings appear for these, just as with the bonuses. Missing any of the above speed boosts will cost you too because you naturally slow down over time.
Obstacles to avoid.
You can earn extra points for performing jumps too. This requires you to draw the track such that it throws the buggy through the top of the screen for as long as possible. You have to be careful with your timing, if you land a jump just before an oncoming gate you’ll get a combination bonus. If you time it wrong, you’ll jump over your hair-raising speed-ups.
Spot height indicator (top-left) mid-jump.
It’s a little awkward to control Buggy Coaster, and I still haven’t worked out whether it’s best to use my left or right hand. Whichever hand you use, the amount of screen your hand obscures becomes critical when you reach the highest speeds. This is the challenge of the game, in a sense, but it can also be self-defeating. After repeated attempts, I couldn’t get very far into the game.
If you pride yourself on quick thinking and lag-free reactions, then you could get kick out of playing Buggy Coaster. The rest of us, however, will be left in its dust. You can grab Buggy Coaster for free in the Nokia Store.
David Gilson, 31st March 2012.
Reviewed by David Gilson at