Feel The Need For Speed With Jet Car Stunts 2 [Review]

jetcarstunt3

The original Jet Car Stunts rocked the App Store back in 2009 — blowing away our memories of fiddly pre-iPhone racers with a colorful speedster of a game that took full advantage of the device’s touch interface and accelerometer to create something truly addictive.

Jet Car Stunts 2 by True Axis
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: Free w/ in-app purchases

Four years later the game has received a sequel-sized overhaul and we’re back for another dose of fast-paced, rocket-powered action. The original’s innovations may no longer be new, but our love of a good high-octane racing game hasn’t gone anywhere in the intervening years.

So have developers True Axis delivered?

There's nothing like completing a perfectly-timed jump.

There’s nothing like completing a perfectly-timed jump.

For starters, Jet Car Stunts 2 looks beautiful. This isn’t a game packed to the gunwales with hyper-realistic textures, but it never pretends to be. Instead, what you get are race tracks crafted from smooth geometric shapes — a bit like a Formula One track set in the Tetris universe — that zoom pleasingly by as you speed from checkpoint to checkpoint miles above the Earth’s surface. The lighting effects only add to the overall look.

Graphics aren’t the only thing that have been improved over the original. There are 120 different levels in all (you get ten in the original download), split across three difficulty stages. If that’s not enough for you, there’s also the added option of designing your own courses — although for this you’ll need to shell out more money in the form of in-app purchases.

A fun way to while away your time in short frantic bursts.

Jet Car Stunts 2 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but if you enjoyed the original — or just fancy a fun handheld racer high on speed and low on realism — you’ll most likely enjoy this. While the game works with the iPad it is optimized for the iPhone 5, and this is where it feels at its best. There’s the now ubiquitous option of using iOS controllers, but for the most part the standard controls — which feature a a few virtual buttons and a whole lot of tilting to steer — work extremely well.

One thing the game isn’t, it should be noted however, is easy.

“WARNING: This game will challenge you,” reads the official description in the App Store, and while this may be true, we would also have accepted the word “infuriate” instead of “challenge.” Early stages lull you into a false sense of security, while later stages hammer at you relentlessly. This isn’t always helped by occasionally dodgy physics (there is a point at which “outrageous jet physics” simply becomes annoyingly unrealistic) and the odd bug (usually after crashing your buggy into a wall).

For the most part, though, this is an exceedingly fun way to while away your time in short frantic bursts.

Just be aware of the demands for in-app purchases.

If the game is all about speeding up your racing experience, this may be the one thing that slows it back down again.

jetcarstuntGame Name: Jet Car Stunts 2
The Good: The original was great fun. This adds new stages, better graphics, and more vehicles.
The Bad: Controls can occasionally be problematic; in-app purchase demands can annoy.
The Verdict: It sounds obvious to say, but if the look of this game appeals, you’ll most likely enjoy it. A Wipeout for the iDevice era.
Buy from: App Store

Cult of Mac rating: 3/5

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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