Bumpy-Road---iOS-Review Bumpy Road - iOS Review

   20/05/2011 at 10:20       Phil May       3 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - Bumpy Road, iOS, Sinogo, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

I've been following the development of Sinogo's Bumpy Road for quite some time. Touch Arcade featured the game aeons ago, and it feels like a few ice ages have come and gone in the meantime.

Now it's here, and it's every bit as whimsical and charming as I hoped it would be.

Bumpy Road tells the story of a cute old couple and their car. On a heady sunday, with an aim to recapturing some of their misspent youth, the couple set forth and go for a nice little drive.

We're not talking about a pair of 90-somethings doing 20 mph on a motorway in the outside lane, mind - so cast any imagined ideas of what this game is about completely out of your mind and embrace a game that fits the iOS platform absolutely perfectly.

It would be incredibly unfair to pigeonhole Bumpy Road in the same genre as other iOS platformers, simply because it gets right one of the core development challenges facing any developer or team working on iPhone games. The touch screen controls. Ask anyone, and they'll tell you that games on the iPhone live and die purely on the basis of how easy / tricky it is to get the game to do what you want with little more than tilt and touch at your disposal.

Sinogo have opted for a control system that is innovative and absolutely beautifully executed. It's also one that took me back to my own misspent youth, peppering my grandparent's carpet (which happened to look a lot like a miniature road layout) with my huge collection of Matchbox and Corgi cars.

Shoving your hand underneath the carpet behind a car would let you move it along the carpet 'road', and doing the same in front of it would allow you to move it backwards.

Intrinsically, this is how Bumpy Road is controlled. You use your stubby fingers to raise or lower the road's undulating surface to propel the eldster's cute little open-topped bubble car along. A quick swipe upwards and their car will leap into the air - allowing you to access platforms and higher road surfaces along the route.

It's hard to describe so watch the trailer below and all will become clear. As iPhone game control methods go, it's perfect and so nicely balanced - in fact if you've played Tiny Wings and marvel at just how deliciously smooth the gameplay is, you're in for a similar treat with Bumpy Road.

The plaudits don't end there. The whole game's art direction is superb, like a mix between 60s Max Fleischer cartoons and 70s kids book illustrations. Then there's the music and sound effects too, which just pile on the presentation polish.

Though the game's fairly short and only features two routes (one fairly tough and riddled with dangerous water-filled potholes to avoid as well as other trickiness, the other a fairly smooth and straightforward short route entitled "sunday drive") but longevity is provided by the constant quest to better your score (and it's nice to see the game with game center and crystal gaming network support for storing your score boasts) and also to complete the achingly cute side-story quest mode.

Collecting photos scattered throughout the main gameplay level will slowly piece together the cute little couple's history chronologically. How they met, how they fell in love, and how they embarked on their life journey together.

Even the most stone-hearted bloodthirsy FPS player would probably find it all enchanting.

The game's not cheap (though is £1.79 really that expensive?), and I'm hoping that Sinogo either do a sequel or shove an extra level or two into a future update of the game.

Available both in iPhone and iPad flavours (for the same price, a practice I'd certainly like to see become the norm for games like this), Bumpy Road is quite simply the cutest game of the month.

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