I remember watching Wipeout on television and thinking, “These people are idiots.” Twenty minutes later I thought, “I want to be one of those idiots.” Now that Wipout has been ported over to iOS, I’ll finally get my chance to run around a foam obstacle course like a dummy and injure myself. In the comfort of my own home.
Wipeout the game show is a mix of endurance, stamina, toughness and zero self-respect as contestants try to get through an extremely challenging obstacle course. The goal is to get to the finish line as quick as possible without falling or getting knocked off of the course into the water below. Just like the actual game show, you’ll find yourself taking that drink of shame more times than you could ever imagine.
Wipeout has a nice clean interface, but symbols instead of text on some menu buttons will have you wondering what they actually do. The main selection is of course, Wipeout itself or you can choose the Time Trail option. Time to Wipeout is the first course available. Select your character (only two are available at first) and proceed to the courses. You can eventually purchase and unlock new characters but they’re expensive so it’ll be a while before you do. You cannot name your character which is pretty lame. Why not give us the option to name our characters in a show? Makes no sense. I hope they give us that option in a future update.
Controls are simple but can be a bit tricky. Slide your left thumb to the right to advance your player. Press back to make him/her back up. Swipe down to duck. Press the right side to jump. When you’re in the air after jumping, you can swipe down to dive, which I got to work about 50% of the time. If you’re knocked down, tap to stand back up. Fall in the water and you start at the last checkpoint. The controls weren’t as responsive as I’d hope they’d be and there’s no way to change them in the options menu.
The cartoony graphics fit the game perfectly but the crazy clown music is going to drive you insane within ten minutes. (Luckily, you can turn it off in the options menu.) The backgrounds are nicely detailed and the ragdoll physics are a lot of fun to watch, especially when you’re getting pounded over and over again each time you try and stand up.
As you run, jump dive and pray for your life through the obstacle course, you’ll earn style points which leads to coins. You need coins to unlock new courses and purchase helmets which give you different powerups. The Eagle Helmet lets you jump higher while the Lightning Helmet lets you run faster. Experiment with different ones on each course to get the best time. You also have Ballsy Bucks to earn. I will never understand why games insist on using two forms of currency to buy something. It drives me insane. You cannot buy extra coins, but you can in-app purchase more Ballsy Bucks (something I don’t recommend doing).
Red, white and bruised all over.
The courses themselves are a lot of fun with varied and challenging obstacles. Run from left to right as you jump on platforms, avoiding foam sticks, giant swinging balls and rotating windmills. If you don’t time your jumps correctly you’ll end up in the drink. But the cool part about wiping out is you can replay it in slow-motion. Slow down the highlight reel while rotating the camera allows you to see things from a different point-of-view. Find that perfect moment during your wipeout and the game lets you take a snapshot of it, which automatically saves to your camera roll. It’s a great feature and I wish more games had it.
This isn’t going to feel good.
While it’s fun to watch your guy wipeout, you have to be aware of the time. You want to finish the course as fast as possible so you can play in higher and tougher leagues. It can be tough, especially when obstacles like the four red bouncing balls are in your way. You’re supposed to press the jump button before you land to bounce off of them, but it’s a crapshoot. Sometimes I make it on the first try, other times it takes me 20 tries. It can be frustrating but that’s why they have helmets for you to purchase.
I can’t lie and say Wipeout isn’t fun to play. It is. It has some control issues, the money system is dumb and you should be able to customize your player. Despite these negatives, if you love the show and always wondered what it would be like to get smacked in the face by a giant foam ball before falling into a pool of water, download this entertaining app. Does anyone have a towel???