The german developer Fishlabs tests the Android waters with this child friendly racing game as their first release. Prepare for the most boring racing experience on the plattform.
I usually have high respect for Fishlabs, back on Series 60 devices they were one of the first who delivered a full 3D game with Galaxy on Fire, which earned them a lot of praise. The game got overhauled and ported to Iphone last year and was well received there too. Burning Tires is an Iphone port too, but it was one of the early releases on the app store, so most people were easy on it with criticism. On Android however, we already have a lot of different racing games, that satisfy every niche market.
Burning Tires is a 3D buggy racing game, you battle against 3 computer opponents, that are controlled by the dumbest AI mechanic possible. They all drive a specific route and follow each other like pearls on a line in a predefined speed. There is no rubberband mechanic, no leeway, nothing that makes an AI tick. What makes matters worse is that you can’t even ram these fucks, because as soon as you touch another buggy, your car spins uncontrollaby and you will most likely need to reset the race. Oh, did I mention that you have absolutely no control over speed? You can only turn left or right by either steering per accelerometer or two touch buttons on the left and right. There are no extras in the game, no items, no boost, nothing. You simply drive along three boring stages with hills, that throw shadows on the ground, but not on you. The ground looks either like muddy brown pixelshit, or is white with blue sprinkles in the snow level. You drive along 3 levels with 12 courses total in 7 different cars. The only thing that’s halfway acceptable are the car models and textures, but we’ve already seen better stuff in nearly all commercial 3D racers.
Oh and multitouch doesn’t work and causes a lot of problems while playing. If you accidently touch both sides while changing direction, you will continue to steer in the first pressed direction, which usually happens once per race. But that doesn’t matter for the first half of the game, because the AI is so mind boggling bad in the beginning, that you’ll win even with enough donuts to feed a whole police station. In the third tourney the difficulty rises enough to be actually called a racing game, but the last cup is probably the most boring racing game I’ve played in a long time. You just follow the three enemies along their string and hope to not have any multitouch errors so you can barely beat them (since you are all driving at the same unchangeable speed). Honestly, I had more to do in Pit Stop 25 years ago and it even had better AI.
I hate that I have to give Fishlabs so much shit about their game, but when they get bad sales, they should at least know, that it’s not because of the Android market, but because of the quality of the game. I’d hate it, if we don’t get Galaxy on Fire and more games from them because of it. But honestly, not many will buy this racing game, that lacks multiplayer and a decent single player game, not even for 1,50€, when it is available with ads for free on the Iphone. I doubt people would even keep a free version for long.
There are a few things, that I like about the game, the options are kinda nice, you can activate SFX separately from the sound and you can even change orientation and the graphics quality. The car models are very different and I guess the target audience will like the quirky sound effects and music, their parents however will not.
All in all I could say that the only people, that are willing to shell out for this game will do that in hopes of future releases with higher quality games from Fishlabs, I couldn’t recommend it to anyone with good conscience. Kids will get frustrated and bored and everyone else will be annoyed by the sound and the gameplay.