Apple App-Aholics Anonymous: [Bounty Racer]

App Name: Bounty Racer
Developer: The Quadsphere
Last Update: 6-26-12
Price: $1.99
App-Aholic Rating: 3.5/5
Watch it Here: Official Game Trailer

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Indeed, imitation is a primary symbol of flattery. Add a bit of original (and potentially-creative) flare, and a beast is born! While Bounty Racer may not exactly be that prized gem shimmering in the mobile gaming pool, it’s still a pretty, functional, playful racer worth taking a closer look at.

We’ve seen this happen in the AppStore before: the Mario Brothers franchise, with all of their many circuits of gaming, is arguably Nintendo’s most recognized mascot. Hoping to capture some of that success, Bounty Racer by developer, The Quadsphere, has modeled their latest release loosely on the classical Mario Kart layout. This arrives on the AppStore complete with bulbous heads sticking out the top of funky racing machines.

WITH THE GOOD: Bounty Racer’s graphics are 3-dimensional and detailed properly for this type of racing genre. The Quadsphere has decided to offer three different styles of control options for every type of player, all of which operate smoothly. Finally, instead of conventional asphalted tracks (as are found even in Mario Kart), the off-road layouts make the game treacherously exciting. Hills, ramps, and other strategically-placed obstacles can quickly shift the track positioning of any player, taking you from loser to winner and vice versa in seconds. Focusing a little bit more on the tracks, the length of each selection is just long enough to hold your attention without becoming boring or leaving more to be desired.

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AND THE BAD: There’s absolutely no abort button!? This is a MUST-have for any modern racing game! This idea should be reconsidered in future updates.

GAME OF REPETITION: While Bounty Racer is a pleasant adventure, there’s a few things that may get old pretty fast. First of all, there are four different cups (levels) of difficulty to play through. Sadly, the difficulty cups are simply a marathon of the same 6 tracks on a repeat loop that never change in shape, size, or any other manner. Secondly, as if the same tracks weren’t bad enough, each course consists of three “different” track types: Race (a standard 3-lap sprint to the finish), Collect (drive around to snag a designated number of stars by a predetermined time limit, and yes, the stars are ALWAYS in the same spot despite difficulty levels), and Elimination (endure four Heats in which the current player in last is ousted from the race). So what makes the higher-ranked cups more difficult? The only differentiation arrives in the speed and handling upgrades of the vehicles you’re allowed to use in said cups. While this is a nice attribute, it’s not enough that the courses aren’t enhanced as well, making Bounty Racer lose a bit of its entertaining appeal.

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RATING: Bounty Racer started off with masses of potential. I was intrigued, maybe even enthralled by the smooth and addictive playability. Unfortunately, The Quadsphere decided to hit the “track repeat” button and stretch the results across four “different” cups instead of taking the time to add more variating tracks. Even some simple alterations on the same courses would’ve been welcomed! Instead, you will have each turn and challenge of every track memorized by the second cup. For this, Bounty Racer is only slightly above average, earning it an App-Aholic rating of 3.5 on a 5-point scale.

TRUTH IS:: There’s no doubt I had fun with this game, but its flaws drastically reduce the net-worth. As it stands, Bounty Hunter should cost $0.99, not the $1.99 The Quadsphere is asking; there needs to be several substantial updates before the overall gaming experience and price are on an even level.

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BOTTOM LINE: Without some more creative intervention in track variety, Bounty Racer isn’t good enough to purchase immediately. Wait for it to go on sale before diving into this title, or risk paying for more than what you’re actually receiving.

SOUND OFF: Now, folks, it’s your turn! Do you have any thoughts, opinions, or general comments about Bounty Racer and/or its developer, The Quadsphere? I personally reply to every comment, and I’d love to hear what you have to say! Just take your cranial debris and throw it down in the box below!

Happy Downloading!

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