If you've ever had the urge to strap a fifty caliber machine gun to the hood of your car and blast your way through rush-hour traffic, the Windows Phone game Deadly Racer might be a gaming title worth trying.
The 3D racer calls upon you to work your way through traffic, destroying vehicles to earn points and eventually unlock vehicles that are more powerful. The endless track is full of targets to destroy both from your lane of traffic and any oncoming vehicles.
Steering controls will take a little time to get used to but nothing impossible. Available for low memory devices, Deadly Racer does have a certain level of appeal but could also use a little fine-tuning.
Deadly Racer has a main menu that is on the minimal side and offers options to play the game, visit the game's store, visit the developer's Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages and exit the game.
The gaming store has an assortment of game upgrades you can purchase with via in-app purchases. Upgrades include unlocking vehicles, doubling your health, increase your top speed and more. The price of these upgrades range from $.99 to $4.99.
There is one minimal aspect about Deadly Racer's menu that isn't very appealing. The text on the menus is very minimal in size. If I had to guess, they are using about 4pt. fonts that require you to pull out the magnifying glass or hold the screen half a foot away to read. Admittedly, my eyes are not what they used to be (I'm currently in bi-focal denial) but Deadly Racer needs larger print size for their menus.
When you first jump into game play, Deadly Racer will send you to the garage where you choose your vehicle. Deadly Racer has ten different vehicles that are progressively unlocked as you reach scoring milestones (or dole out the $5 through in-app purchase). Each vehicle has its own weapons' system and performance characteristics.
Once you select a vehicle, you hit the road with Deadly Racer. Acceleration is automatic and you steer your vehicle from side to side by tilting your Windows Phone. A pair of on-screen buttons sit at the bottom of the screen to control braking and weapons fire. Your scoring measures are displayed in the upper left corner of the screen with your health and ammo meters displayed in the right corner.
The goal with Deadly Racer is simple. Travel as far as possible and blast as many vehicles off the road. To help mix things up a bit the weather will change at random from a clear sunny day to rain showers to even snow showers.
Steering is a little tricky with the tilt controls being extremely sensitive. It will take you a few games to get used to the steering controls and will probably smash into the guard rails often until you do. Braking will help gain control of the steering to a point and can help you avoid crashes.
Should you run out of ammo, some cars will replenish your ammo if destroyed (they have a little ammo icon floating above them) but if you blink, these targets will fly past you.
The game ends when your vehicle's damage meter runs out and your car will burst into flames. Your score is based on cars destroyed, distance traveled, top speed and ammo remaining. Points are converted to cash and when you reach a scoring milestone, additional cars become available in the garage.
Deadly Racer isn't a terrible game for your Windows Phone but several factors holds this game back.
Graphics are decent and game play challenging enough to avoid things from becoming boring. Where Deadly Racer falls short is the over-sensitive steering controls and the overabundance of in-app purchases. I understand using in-app purchases to get a leg up on power-ups or unlocking vehicles. However, this may be the first game I have seen where you earn cash during game play but have no means of using that cash to purchase upgrades.
Along with improving the tilt controls and dialing back the in-app purchases, I also wouldn't mind seeing ammo refills be placed along the road that can be collected by running over them. Having to destroy vehicles to collect ammo does add to the challenge but may be too challenging.
Overall, Deadly Racer isn't too shabby of a racing game for Windows Phone. Having only two reviews, the 4.5 Star rating in the Windows Phone Store may be a little misleading. We'll place the game in the 3 to 3.5 Star range until some of the kinks can be ironed out.