Madcoaster, a endless runner developed by CGMatic and published by Chillingo, is now available from the app store. With a cartoony graphical style and frantic gameplay, Madcoaster will have you cross-eyed as you try to keep up.
- Fun, cartoony graphics and a variety of environments
- Lots of sound effects and soundtrack that match the style of the environment
- Simple controls and varying objectives
- Crystal integration for leaderboards and achievements
- Busy screens make picking out the rollercoaster a chore
- Foreground items can obscure track and gaps
- Estimating jump heights is difficult
A runaway rollercoaster full of screaming passengers must negotiate a series of tiered tracks while smacking animals and collecting coins along the way. You make the roller coaster jump to higher tracks or leap over gaps by tapping on the screen, with quick taps resulting in short hops and longer jumps requiring a lengthier hold. Dropping to a lower level is accomplished by downward swiping. Rainbows of coins require precise timing if you plan on clearing them all. There are a few power-ups to grab, too, offering increased speed, jetpack flights, magnets, extra lives, and more. Plummeting off of the tracks doesn’t automatically end your effort, as you are given 3 opportunities to resume from your point of exit, rather than start over immediately. Every 1000 meters sends you into a tunnel full of coins before spitting you out in a new environment. They show interesting variation, including desert, tundra, jungle, Halloween, etc. These environments are quite busy, giving a lot of detail that makes picking out your roller coaster somewhat difficult. Foreground items tend to obscure the lowest track, making it difficult to judge where the track breaks are and sending us off the rails on many occasions. These were two very frustrating aspects of the game that diminished our enjoyment significantly. Despite a solid premise and plenty of fun elements, we don’t see ourselves getting much use out of this game.
Graphically, we liked the disjointed cartoony style and found the animations to be serviceable, though there were definitely instances of slowdown from time to time. The audio was decent, with plenty of fun sound effects and background music that changes to match the environment. The controls were easy to use and showed pretty good responsiveness, though estimating the height of jumps based on hold length was not an easy task. We seemed to get a lot of inconsistency that resulted in missed coins and jumps that missed the track on the other side of a gap. Replay value is decent, as you can chase other players on the Crystal leaderboards for either score or distance, as well as earn achievements and complete objectives that serve to give you additional goals while you play. A universal app for $0.99, Madcoaster is a quirky, 3-Dimple offering.