Riptide GP, a particularly pretty jet ski racing game from Vector Unit, is now available from the app store. Reminiscent of titles such as Aqua Moto Racing or even Wave Race for the N64, Riptide GP takes the visuals to the next level, though is does so at the expense of control options, quality AI, and overall content.
Riptide GP ros:
- Terrific visuals, especially the wave and water mechanics
- Upbeat soundtrack
- Simplistic control scheme
- GameCenter and OpenFeint integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Riptide GP Cons:
- Weak AI, limited controls, repetitive and unexciting gameplay
- No multiplayer
- Not a lot of content
Riptide GP offers a half-dozen tracks upon which to race and perform tricks, with those tracks also playable in reverse to give gamers an additional 6 tracks to traverse. You can race in Normal (one-off races), Hot Lap (time trials), and Championship (Grand Prix-style racing) modes. You also have a half-dozen watercraft to use while racing, each with their own stats as far as acceleration, top speed, and handling. Racing is pretty standard, though the AI doesn’t put up much of a fight. In fact, things got a bit boring after a while. You can pull off tricks when you hit ramps or bumpy waves by swiping the lower corners of the device. The combination of swipe directions dictates the type of stunt that you pull off. Stunts will fill your boost meter, which can give you a temporary speed burst when you tap on the meter. Taking first will unlock additional tracks and watercraft. The overall play is very arcade-like, with invisible walls that keep your craft in line if your jumps would otherwise take you off the given path.
The graphics are well-rendered, with superb liquid fluidity and jet skis that react appropriately to the bobbing of waves and the difficulty of turning in water. The courses range from open-air tracks to enclosed tunnels, utilizing both bright environments and darker locales. The soundtrack is upbeat, as would be expected for a game based on racing. The controls are strictly accelerometer-based for turning, and tricks are performed by swiping in specified directions on-screen. Braking is done by holding your thumb in the lower left corner. Your craft auto-accelerates, so you need not worry about that. You can choose manual acceleration if you prefer.
Replay value is decent, as multiple game modes and 3 difficulty levels can offer a variety of challenges to keep you interested, though the lack of an ability to upgrade your craft or rider is kind of disappointing. Also disappointing is the lack of multiplayer, as racing human opponents could eliminate the problems with the weak AI. GameCenter and OpenFeint connectivity allow for a bunch of leaderboards and 30 achievements. A universal app on sale for $2.99 (regularly $4.99), Riptide GP speeds to a lackluster 3-Dimple finish.
Riptide GP Review,