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Car Toons! Review
Review Score:

Car Toons!, a platform puzzler from FDG Entertainment, is now available from the app store. While Car Toons! doesn’t offer a lot of challenge for older gamers, youngsters should find the tap controls, fun cars, and simple puzzles fairly engaging.

Car Toons! Pros:

  • Cute cartoon presentation that should appeal to younger gamers
  • Soundtrack meshes well with game style
  • Tap controls are easy to use
  • Variety of car types each with a unique ability that factors into puzzle solving
  • GameCenter integration for leaderboards and achievements

Car Toons! Cons:

  • Not much of a challenge; many levels practically play themselves
  • Control responsiveness was spotty
  • No time display showing exact completion times for gamers who want to climb leaderboards
  • Not a universal app

Car Toons! contains over 100 levels where the goal is to use the emergency vehicles to eliminate the gangster cars by knocking them off-screen. This usually involves ramming them until they slide out of existence, though you may also use the emergency cars to activate puzzle elements (hammers, explosive barrels, etc.) to do the dirty work. You must tap black-striped bars to pop them and cause any cars perched atop to fall. Red-striped bars disappear when a car contacts a remote switch, which causes a similar reaction. Some levels require you to stop the emergency cars within certain areas to complete the level, though most will throw up barriers to stop you where they want you or simply ignore your final positioning altogether. As you progress, a power meter appears that allows you to utilize a special power unique to each emergency vehicle. The police car can do a 180-degree spin and drive in the opposite direction, while the fire truck has a rocket dash maneuver and the ambulance can hop a short distance. You earn 3 stars per level for completing the goal within the time limit and without losing any of your cars. Otherwise, there isn’t much to it. Gameplay is pretty basic, with many levels simply requiring a single start and stop to finish. Some will require a sequence of events or timing-based taps, but these don’t start becoming prevalent until halfway through the game. Levels are very short, making overall gameplay a somewhat brief experience.

Graphically, Car Toons! has a style that should appeal to a younger crowd. Vehicles have faces and make noises. Puzzles fit within a single screen, and flashing rectangular areas make it easy to tell where you need to stop vehicles to beat a level. Your timer takes the form of a star at the screen top. Its color drains in clock countdown fashion until it is completely dimmed. If at least a sliver of color remains, you earn the full star. The soundtrack has a cutesy, cheery vibe that meshes well with the game’s style. Controls are strictly tap-based, requiring you to tap on a car to start it and tap on it again to stop it. Activating powers asks you to tap the power meter at the screen bottom and then tap the target car to use it. We had some issues with taps not registering or with missing the vehicle with our taps. This was a bit frustrating and annoying. Additionally, stopping distance depends on speed and momentum of the vehicle, which sometimes requires you to tap way before you’d expect to in order to stop the car in the right spot. This is most noticeable on declines or icy surfaces.

Replay value is not great, with the main impetus behind playing certain levels again being to snag any missed stars. There shouldn’t be many, save for a few timer stars that you may not have earned on the first playthrough. GameCenter includes leaderboards for total play time (lowest is best) and a number of completion-based achievements. Unfortunately, without a timer displaying your actual completion time, replaying levels to improve your leaderboard standings is a blind exercise. Some occasional crashing issues and a number of misspellings are also minor annoyances. At $0.99 (or $1.99 for the iPad-specific version), Car Toons! is an underwhelming 3-Dimple app.

Car Toons! Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-07-28T11:00:21+00:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

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