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Burnout CRASH! Review
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Burnout CRASH!, an arcade offering inspired by the Burnout series of games, has been developed by Criterion Games, published by EA, and is now available from the app store. Featuring vehicular carnage, exciting explosions, and ridiculous high-scoring action, Burnout CRASH! may not satisfy fans looking for the typical Burnout experience, but it’s a pretty solid app when judged on its own merit.

Burnout CRASH! Pros:

  • Great animated explosions and detailed locations
  • Multiple game modes and specific star requirements to earn new cars and unlock new locations
  • Tap and swipe controls to control explosions and inflict damage on vehicles/buildings
  • Humorous perks

Burnout CRASH! Cons:

  • Broken GameCenter integration
  • Challenges only offered through Origin
  • Some stuttering and app instability
  • Confusing controls/gameplay for newbies

Burnout CRASH! provides 6 unique locations, each offering 3 intersections that can be played in 3 different game modes for a total of 54 levels. Each level allows you to earn up to 5 stars for completing tasks specific to each star. The overall goal of each level is to cause as much damage as possible in the time allotted, with the value of the damage acting as your score. Many of the stars are tied to hitting certain dollar value thresholds, so mastering your opportunities will help you to go far. The three game modes create certain restrictions that directly influence your experience. Rush Hour mode gives you a hard time limit of 90 seconds to blow stuff up. Pile Up mode ends after inflicting damage upon 30 cars, and Road Block mode ups the car quota but can end early if 5 cars have been allowed safe passage through the intersection. A wealth of multipliers and perks can be earned along the way to assist in driving up your score. New cars will drive into stopped vehicles, creating large pileups that are ripe for big point gains if you can explode your car nearby.

Each level begins with you driving your vehicle along a desolate road and into the main intersection, which will become your theater of mayhem. Crashing your car into oncoming traffic will render you both immobile, though you’ll be able to tap and swipe around the screen to nudge your car in various ways that don’t make a lot of sense and aren’t as intuitive as we were led to believe. As time passes and carnage ensues, your Crashbreaker bar fills. Once full, any tap of the screen will cause your car to detonate, impacting surrounding vehicles and buildings and engulfing some objects in flames. You continue tapping and swiping until the level ends, where you’ll be awarded any stars that you’ve earned. Stars are used to unlock additional vehicles and new locations. It’s basically an action-packed timewaster with light strategic elements and wacky happenings, such as gigantic lobsters and rogue tornadoes that wipe out the majority of items on-screen. Exploding a pizza truck allows you to spin a wheel and earn new perks, allowing an ambulance to pass unscathed can earn back one of the acceptable losses in Road Block mode, and destroying an armored vehicle spreads money bags around the board for cash bonuses. It’s a wild ride that’s surprisingly engaging.

Graphically, you are treated to a top-down, zoomed-out view of each level, offering a nice look at the playing area and the animated explosions. It can be tough to pick out your vehicle amongst the wreckage, though a text indicator will occasionally set you straight. The multiple locations consist of different layouts that add to the challenge. The Crashbreaker bar sits in the lower left corner and your damage value tallies in the upper right. The soundtrack uses an upbeat, familiar tune, while the in-game action is punctuated by crashing and exploding effects for the most part. The controls are simple to use, though we were very confused by what we were expected to do or how best to make our vehicle do what we wanted it to do. There is no real explanation, and the same gestures can have wildly different results. Swiping over and over can cause barely a nudge or fling your car straight across the board. It’s kind of annoying, but given the insanity of the premise, it just adds to the chaos and uncertainty.

Replay value is decent, as earning all stars and unlocking all vehicles/levels can take some work and a healthy dose of luck. There is an Autolog option through Origin that allows you to challenge friends to battles, though GameCenter would have been a much better option for this. There is supposedly GameCenter integration, too, but it appears to be broken out of the gate. Minor stuttering and occasional instability also mar the initial experience. A universal app for a pricey $4.99, Burnout CRASH! is a fun, 3.5-Dimple game.

Burnout CRASH! Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-04-13T00:40:24+00:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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