With all the advancement in the graphics department in the video game industry, driving or racing simulation games have become more and more realistic. From the car designs down to the very physics, each new game in the genre is seemingly inching closer to a perfect driving experience. However, if you strip down the games down to their very core, the real pleasure still comes from the adrenaline produced by speeding through roads (or racetracks) like there’s no tomorrow. Road rage, so to speak.
Down to the basics
Turbotastic is a great example of a game that offers the very core of driving and racing simulation games. There are no fancy cars and racetracks to choose from, no upgrade and customization options, and certainly no social interaction. It’s just you and your car in an open highway populated by other vehicles. The controls only requires you to steer left or right because your car is in constant acceleration – yes, there isn’t even a brake option in the game.
Your primary goal is to drive as far as possible before the time runs out. The vehicles cruising on the road and the trees and rocks on the side act as obstacles that will hinder your speed every time you hit them. But unless you’re very, very bad with steering, you don’t have to worry about anything besides the vehicles ahead of you.
Pick-ups along the way
To make the gameplay more exciting, Turbotastic produces an assortment of items along the road that can be picked up. Immediately noticeable are the numerous coins scattered along the road, which are sometimes lined up for easier picking. These coins don’t have any purpose other than to be tallied in the end. The same goes with gift boxes, which appear less frequently.
There are three items that directly and immediately affect your gameplay as soon as you pick them up. First is the Nitro, represented as a red ‘N’ item. This item drastically boosts your speed for a limited time. Picking up a Nitro changes your car’s color from grey to red and the camera angle shifts to a more overhead view to give you a better look into the road ahead. But be careful, though; bumping into other vehicles (or trees and rocks) immediately cancels the Nitro effect.
The second item is a bit more confusing, visually-wise. It’s represented as a blue ‘P’ item and, upon pick-up, immediately turns your car into a monster truck. So it should have been a letter ‘M’… Anyway, while your car is in this form, you can crush any vehicle along your path. The number of vehicles you ran over is also tallied in the end. Like the Nitro boost, the monster truck form is only available for a limited time. The last item is an hourglass which, obviously, adds more time to the timer and doesn’t really need much explanation.
So, at the end you can grade yourself based on four categories: the distance achieved, the number of coins collected, the number of gift boxes collected, and the number of cars crushed. Plus the overall score based on all of those factors. The most obvious thing that will keep you hooked into the game is trying to go for the best mark in each of the four categories separately instead of a per round basis. While Turbotastic is far from being the most jaw-dropping driving or racing simulation game in the market, it does well on the few things it has to offer.