Within the genre of racing, it’s difficult to bring something totally new to the table. While Aqua Moto Racing may be the only jet-ski racing game, there is little to separate it from other water based racing games. This being said, this App does extremely well based just on its own merits. Even though it doesn’t have enough to separate itself from the other racers out there, it is filled with enough options and is presented well enough to make it a great gameplay experience. It is one of the better racers you will play on your iDevice.
In terms of presentation, I must say that I was impressed with Aqua Moto Racing. I haven’t played a racing game from the App Store that reached this level of crispness. There were moments where I found myself impressed at the reflection of the background on the water as I raced around a bend. The sky, the water effects, the racers themselves, they have a level of polish that many other games have a hard time attaining.
Another aspect of presentation that is often overlooked is in the layout of buttons and the menu navigation. Some games make navigating the game menus a hassle, but Aqua Moto Racing doesn’t suffer from this problem. Also, the actual HUD while playing is well thought out. It follows the classic paradigm as other racing games, leaving the screen both informative but without obscuring you enjoyment of the scenery.
The actual gameplay consists automatic acceleration, leaving you to focus on steering. While the lack of speed control would normally annoy me, the addition of BOOST mitigates this. BOOST is the Aqua Moto’s version of nitro. It adds a level of strategy that downgrades a monotonous racing experience. The best part of the BOOST mechanism is that is it based on a recharging system. Instead of being limited to one or two uses per race, there is a meter on the bottom right that slowly recharges. Pressing the button gives you a slight but significant speed boost.
While there may be only 3 environments, the placement of buoys and ramps does enough to change the tracks’ feel. That being said, the inclusion of those three different environments, 18 tracks, 7 Championships, and a reverse mode makes Aqua Moto Racing a large game. There is a time trial as well. Perhaps the best part of the game is the ability to upgrade your top speed, acceleration, steering and boost.
There is something to be said about how Aqua Moto Racing is built for consistent playing. The longer you play, the more you unlock. At the current pick-up-and-play mindset most iDevice owners have, it will take a while to explore the whole breadth of the game. In this way, it fits into an interesting category of games that are built for a pick-up-and-play gaming lifestyle with incentives to keep you playing for weeks and months.
Also, the Online World Ranking system is another incentive to keep playing this game. As you unlock option after option, and as you upgrade your racer, that global leaderboard stares you in the face, taunting you to beat the high scores. In an interesting twist, Resolution Interactive AB included a Ghost Play option to race against the World’s Best. Unfortunately, this can only be done by registering a profile which requires a Wi-Fi connection.
While there are so many positive things to say about Aqua Moto Racing, there are a couple of… well, let’s call them minor complaints. One is the need for online registration to create a profile for yourself. If you don’t register, you’ll be stuck being called GUEST for your whole gaming experience. This may be a small gripe, but the option to use a guest account and change the its name would be of much help. Another gripe is the preference of an accelerator. The lack of this driving option is of personal choice, but it would go a long way in giving the gamer another level in their gaming experience.
Despite those two minor gripes, there is not much I can say against Aqua Moto Racing. It may be a good racer with a veneer of Jet Skis, but it is a good racer nonetheless. It’s been keeping me coming back again and again to unlock and upgrade, and that says a lot considering all the other racers I have on my iDevice.
|Title:||Aqua Moto Racing (v1.0.1)||Developer:||Resolution Interactive AB|
|Price:||$2.99||App Size:||14.4 MB|