By: Quinn Potter
You know that feeling you have when the pit of your stomach drops out and the tires on your car squeal magnificently as you floor the gas so you can launch your car off the top of a very tall building and carve out some wicked cool aeronautical tricks?
Yeah, me neither… but get yourself onto Jet Car Stunts and you’ll get a taste of this kind of awesome fun. Really, the name says it all here. You are in control of a car-jet that does stunts. It’s just that cool.
Controls are well-placed, easy to learn and very responsive. You can only reset the controls to specific keys, but it’s hardly necessary to reset anything to work through the game.
The graphics on the track are exaggerated, like a cartoon, but the visuals off the track are pretty spectacular. The clouds are just mind-blowing. They have a tremendous sense of depth for such a race-focused game. You can see the sun through scattered clouds, hot air balloons and beautiful green islands below as you fall off the track. The locations change from islands to mountains and high clouds.
There’s a little rock and roll music for the intro to each race, but the best sounds are the revving of the engine, clink of metal when you smash and the “bink, bink” of the air brake.
The game starts with a short, easy track that you drive off of and into mid-air. It takes a few attempts to figure out the jet and play with the brake flaps, but, before you know it, you’re flying through hoops in the sky. Each step of the tutorial walks you through a different aspect of handling your vehicle.
There’s a complete and utter lack of guidance, which can get a little frustrating, but the fun wing sounds (bink-bink-bink), throaty engine rev and endless number of oh-so-creative epic fails (go backwards – fail, go off the side of the course – fail, hit the barrier – fail) make the steep learning curve thoroughly entertaining. Watching your vehicle slam into the side then fall apart into a smaller pieces or just flail across the sky in a zen-like moment of calm puts the fun back into failure.
There are five tutorials that start hard and get harder as you go. By the time you finish the tutorials, you have use of an air boost, which is another nifty gadget for your racing enjoyment. After the tutorials, there are 25 levels to master.
Tracks start off short and sweet (30 seconds to a minute) and build to progressively harder, longer challenges (2-3 minutes). As your driving improves, you can unlock more difficult courses in a number of different modes.
If you choose the “time trial” mode, you can race against the clock for a gold, silver or bronze medal. If you choose “platform,” you’re just racing against yourself to register your own best performance. In “collector” mode, you collect stars. Want to see how you compare against your other attempts or other players? Turn on “ghost” or check the leaderboard.
Jet Car Stunts is a little gem of a single-player puzzler that’s fast, challenging, fun and addictive.