APP OF THE DAY: Hill Climb Racing review (Android)

There has been a run of addictive linear games on mobile platforms recently, from the likes of Ski Safari to Temple Run, and the trend doesn't seem to be stopping.

Today's App of the Day offers something similar, but with a bit of a twist, because it requires a little more patience and a lot more skill. Today we're in the seat of a car, for something pretty tricky.

Hill Climb Racing

Format
Android
Price
Free
Where
Google Play

Hill Climb Racing is an odd game. When you first start it up, you'll probably be unimpressed: the graphics are clunky, the soundtrack is irritating and the gameplay rather sloppy.

But that's all deliberate, or rather, the sloppy gameplay is deliberate, because Hill Climb Racing is a game that makes you upgrade as you go, to improve the handling of your car. We're not talking Forza-style race tweaking, no, we're talking basic changes so that your car will drive without rolling over.

The aim of the game is to cover as much distance as possible over the undulating terrain. It's up and down, collecting coins and catching air as you go.

It's on this undulating terrain that you'll meet your maker, as the car will easily roll over and snap the neck (literally) of the rather inert driver behind the wheel. It's amusing the first time, but something you'll want to avoid doing, as every time the driver dies, you'll be back to the start to try again.

Some parts of the route you can't pass without making the required upgrades, which is where the coins come in. Upgrades are divided into four sections: engine, suspension, tyres and 4WD. You'll need to improve all of them to stand any chance of making progress.

As you go along, you'll learn that Hill Climb Racing is a game of skill. Some parts you can race across, other parts require control, all of it needs a balancing of the brake and "gas" pedal to keep the car under control. Too much gas on a climb will see you roll over backwards, too much brake on a descent will see you rolling forwards.

The result is that Hill Climb Racing is a game that's less about racing and more about patience. It's frustrating at times, but we've found it stupidly addictive, even if is feels a little odd.

The game is ad supported, but you can remove the ads and buy more coins (for upgrades or a new car) in the game, if you choose. Hill Climb Racing will help you pass an odd five minutes here and there in its own odd way. But who knows, you might just find it oddly addictive.