Hot Wheels World's Best Driver initially won me with one risky decision. Originally a console game, its journey to iOS can be only enjoyed by iPad users, so cutting the mobile market is a huge risk for the franchise. With Chillingo, this racer should easily cross the finish line with flying colors. That being said, the need for speed and a dependable brand name doesn't always guarantee a smooth ride.
For uninitiated iOS gamers, complaining over a $2.99 price point sounds inane, a first world problem which irritates a healthy share of console enthusiasts. Three bucks, in comparison to sixty dollars, is an understandably unfair comparison, but considering many apps can be played with a freemium mechanic, shelling out any kind of money for an iOS title is a decision that requires a bit of thought.
The main attraction behind Hot Wheels World's Best Driver is the variability of your racing. If you want a powerful vehicle to handle rugged terrain, a speedster to overtake your competitors, or a car to drift into the middle of next week, this game has all the goods. Before an event begins, you will choose a racing team that best fits your mood. To blast through the tracks in quicksilver fashion, choose the green team, and if you want to experience an off roading adventure, pick the yellow squad. The red team is stunt driven and the blue crew specialized in tech savvy upgrades.
I'm not too imaginative when it comes to racing, so I've spent must of my time racing as fast as I can.
During each challenge, a multitude of tokens are available for the taking, and if you know you'll probably fail your respective task, try to collect as many tokens as possible. Even if you fail at a certain task, accrued tokens can be used to purchase special abilities which upgrade your vehicles.
Levels are unlocked after you meet a series of challenges or score a certain level of achievements. The ability to upgrade your various cars through tokens and the pure adrenaline of beating your competition (or in some cases, completing time trials), gives Hot Wheels World's Best Driver a deeper dimension than many racers.
The title's major failing rests on its sub par control system. The left and write arrows, which move your vehicle from side to side, are used for dodging, drifting, and just plain navigating around your select course. Action buttons are located on top of these directional icons and will be used whenever you have a power up to employ. To brake, just press on the lower section of the screen.
Since each stage has its share of distinct difficulties, a seamless and intuitive control mechanic is a must. Unfortunately, Hot Wheels World's Best Driver is completely deficient in this department. No matter what ride I use, finding my footing on any of the tracks has been a steady, uphill climb. As much as I love riding bikes on my iPad, using the Hot Wheels control simply makes these races a frustrating experience. At least the graphics are pretty.
In creating a title which gives us a diverse array of racing experiences, the developers were on the right track. Unfortunately, this racer falls off the rails with a third rate control system. Variety may be the spice of life, but sans the proper navigation, those hot wheels will continue to spin in the wrong direction.
App Store Link: Hot Wheels World's Best Driver for iPad | By Chillingo Ltd. | Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.0 | 834.1 MB | Rating 4+