Mad Wheels in Review – Aaaand, they’re off!

One of the iconic cartoon shows constantly aired on the Cartoon Network when I was growing up was Hanna Barbera’s Wacky Races, where racers were pitched against each other in various road rallies across North America. Most remarkable of course were the vehicles, armed with dastardly and clever contraptions and used by the participants to gain the lead, often by questionable means. Well, anything new is just old well forgotten and this same basic idea is exploited in Mad Wheels.

Mad Wheels is a reasonably traditional top-down action/racing game. Nothing is known about the actual origins of the race itself but you’ll find yourself in control of mad, Mad I tell you!.. sorry, back to our regular programming… Where was I? Oh yes, you’ll find yourself in control of some mad strange vehicles, from construction trucks to hovercars to beyond, armed by some serious firepower.

The basic racing experience is a reasonably standard one – you complete several laps of a winding track, striving to finish first. To help you in your quest to be number 1, booster pads are scattered across the levels. And, of course, who can forget the various means of destruction equipped on the race cars. The machine gun, missile and mine are standard across all the vehicles and provide a reliable, albeit more traditional, way of getting rid of your competitors.

But all of the above is more or less commonplace across the multitude of arcade racing games available. What makes Mad Wheel worthwhile and stand out from the crowd is that each vehicle has its own unique melee and super attacks. These special attacks, some quite ingenious, some more traditional, will probably be the key for most players when it comes to selecting their rides. The races themselves offer secondary objectives to complete for additional stars and score, but aren’t anything really spectacular apart from that.

The technical side of Mad Wheels is reasonably polished, though doesn’t offer anything spectacular in terms of graphics or interface design. I did feel some mild frustration with the location of the weapon controls and at times wished that there was an option to move these virtual buttons around as you desire like in some iOS games. And making your car stay in the center part of the track can be challenge as well, though that can probably be accredited my driving skills (or lack thereof). A certain boon is the availability of online multiplayer, which needless to say, increases the replayability of the game tenfold.

In the wide range of action racing games (say Death Rally) on the App Store, it’s often hard to keep your head above the crowd. But Mad Wheels manages to do so, mostly thanks to the crazy car designs obviously inspired by the classic cartoon series. It’s in no way perfect, with minor control flaws and not-so-spectacular graphics. But the online multiplayer, a significant amount of race tracks and unique vehicles certainly makes Mad Wheels worth your time if you’re shopping for a fun casual arcade racer.

With this I declare Mad Wheels officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Mad Wheels
Mad Wheels Lite
Mad Wheels HD
Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.1.3
Price: $0.99/$1.99 App Size: 64.77MB
  • Crazy vehicles reminiscent of the classic cartoon show
  • Online multiplayer
  • Weapons included
  • No car customization
  • Gets a bit boring after a while
  • Not many cars to choose from
  • Mediocre graphics


A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

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