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There's no doubting where the inspiration from Rail Rush came from: the exciting underground railway chase from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It's such a simple idea for a game, it's a wonder that it's not been used more often, but Rail Rush makes the most of it.
The objective is simple: Racing into the track on an old mine cart, you must duck or jump over hazards and leap to switch tracks as one bit of track ends or is blocked. Whilst doing all of this, you also need to try and collect the nuggets of gold which can be used to buy extras that will help you, or unlock new characters.
Rail Rush is essentially an "into the screen" 3D variant "endless runner" games like Chop Chop Runner or Temple Run. There's no real end point - your objective is simply to keep going for as long as possible before you come a-cropper. Despite the lack of any real objective, this is addictive stuff. It's a game that rewards practice and perseverance and the more you play it, the better you will get. There's a real feeling of achievement when you beat your best score; and when you do less well, you instantly hit restart to have another game.
The fact that the levels are randomly generated adds to the variety, as you never quite know what to expect. This is not a game where you can learn patterns by rote; it relies on quick reactions and watching the screen. As such, it doesn't suffer from the predictability of many games or the repetitiveness of having to replay levels you have already played in order to get to the later stages.
That said, the lack of variety in the underlying gameplay can start to wear thin after a while sine each game boils down to the same thing:avoid stuff and keep going for as long as you can. As such, it's probably one you are going to want to play in shorter bursts. But the game is ideal for that. Most games (even when you do well) are over in less than about 5 minutes so it's ideal to just pick up and play when you fancy a quick game of something.
Rail Rush looks and sounds very good. Whilst the graphics are relatively simple, they are big and bold and attention-grabbing, Your hero (complete in Indy style garb) looks good and, whilst he might only require fairly basic movements, he is animated well and has a lot of personality (no mean feat given that you only ever see his back). Hazards are for the most part very clear and easy to pick out as you approach them, although there is one lot (which require you to sway your cart in one direction to avoid them) are not always clear, and these are frustrating.
My first thought when I played Rail Rush was "Hmmm. It's not very fast, is it?" I expected the cart to be hurtling along at breakneck speeds and was initially slightly disappointed. Don't be. The game is being kind to you, giving you the chance to get to grips with it. As you progress it gradually gets faster and faster. Whilst it's never quite as fast as the film scenes which influenced it, it's fast enough!
Sound is also pretty good. A short, but adrenaline pumping tune plays over the menu screen, whilst another equally good tune accompanies the main game. These really add to the atmosphere and get the palms sweating! Sound effects are a little more limited (the clink of gold and the scraping of your cart's wheels on the track), but they are nevertheless effective.
Controls are pretty simple to learn and even easier to use. Mostly they involve either swiping the screen in a particular direction (down to duck under an object or up to leap it) or tilting your screen to make your character lean in that direction. These are the sorts of controls which are ideally suited to touchscreen devices. They are easy to learn and very responsive. If you die, it's because you failed to react to a hazard in time or got confused and swiped in the wrong direction.
There is a concern with the controls: specifically the downward swipe needed to duck objects. The natural place to hold your finger for this means that if you swipe even slightly too enthusiastically, you hit the Home button on your iPhone/iPad and exit the game! Whilst this is not too critical (if you go straight back to the game, it will be paused at the point you left it), it is annoying when it happens repeatedly.
Best of all, Rail Rush is attractively priced at 69p. There's more than enough entertainment here to justify that sort of price. It has the addictive rush of trying to beat your high scores and even though you are likely to leave it alone for several weeks (or even months) whilst you go off and play other things, it's a game that you will return to, because it's just such simple fun to play
(c) Copyright SWSt 2013
I am a huge fan of any game that involves you attempting to complete missions for a target and to unlock new items but also a game which entertains me and this is has both.
== The Game ==
This game is one of those which might appeal to some people and others might look and think boring. If you are a fan of Train Conductor this might be right up your street.
The game involves you on a runaway carriage in the deep caves attempting to collect gold, gems and rocks and using them to make your single carriage better at protecting you on these long voyages.
I admit at first it sounds dull but it is far from that. The game gives you instructions to begin with on how to play this game because this would obviously help. You will encounter all sorts of obstacles along your route to success namely wooden blocks which aim to injure your rider.
Blocks can be anyway such as on the side of a rail and this will mean you have to tilt the carriage to the one side to avoid being hurt by this huge wooden block. You might have a block sat on the track and you need to jump over it with quick ease.
You do not just have blocks on the track some are above you and you need to crouch down to miss them and this is all part of the obstacles there to distract and to make you lose.
Tracks do not last forever though as on this game you're required to jump from one piece of track to the next and this might be in quick succession and needs plenty of skill and quick determination.
The game starts slow and this can be off putting as you're strolling down this track and wondering where you might find these obstacles but as you advance further down the rail you find the speed picks up and this means anticipation is key to you surviving.
Gold is scattered everywhere and you usually need to tilt in certain directions so your rider can grab the gold and continue on his voyage. You need as much gold as possible because this can result in you using them for items in the shop (more revealed later).
The gold is huge and at times it is not that hard to miss it because it is so big. You use your iPhone to actually tilt the rider and that makes the game much more fun in my eyes. You have missions on the game as well and if you complete them your ranking goes up but also you get gold nuggets as well to use.
One mission I did gave me 1500 nuggets which is a lot and it was for just going 250 metres down the track and some missions are simple whilst others are very difficult and hard to get used to. When you complete a mission a huge banner at the top of the game reveals your success.
You're always told you distance and the amount of gold you have accumulated as you play the level. When you die by crashing or missing the end of the track you find you start again but the level although looks the same is not. Tracks and gold have moved so you are not sure what moves to perform.
You encounter dark caves and some have bright lights to confuse you and it is all part of the game play which makes it all so much fun to play.
== Missions and Gems ==
The missions are hard to justify because some are so easy and yet offer such huge rewards whilst other missions are very tough to accomplish and offer very little. An example might be to pick up 100 gold nuggets in a single turn and this can be easy sometimes and if you manage to do this you are given a reward which I believe is 400 nuggets.
When you complete a mission the next one pops up and you continue on with the game. Your progress is always saved though so if a mission said ride 1500 metres on the right hand track and you did 650 metres and died this number is deducted from your mission target which I think is very good.
The missions are there to give you a purpose on the game and to continue your pursuit. The missions are good and make me want to keep on playing which is why this game appeals.
The gems are more difficult to assess because you can see them occasionally and they usually turn out to be purple or blue and if you hit them you are given 10 nuggets or 25 depending on the colour of the gem. For me the gems would be best saved and used to buy something from the store and this could in turn be used to generate a much better carriage.
You also collect rocks with an emblem on them and if you die on the level you get to crack open the rock and inside could be nothing or lots of nuggets my best success thus far has been 1000 nuggets given to me for hitting it so they are worth trying to collect.
These extra items to collect add more fun to the game and make sure everything is fun but I worry those gems are more a con because they offer little.
== The Shop ==
The shop is where you spend those nuggets to assist you but again this is a problem area as well. My first investment was a magnet for 3,500 nuggets and this was there so when I was travelling down the tracks all the gold and gems would come to me rather than me going out of my way to gather them.
Once I got this I assumed it would be on my carriage throughout but it does not it tends to disappear after around 3 goes and the only reason I cannot tell you how quickly it ran out was because I never noticed it went until it was too late.
Some items on the shop are there to make you spend your nuggets on pointless items. If you want an extra life so when you die you can continue this costs 3000 nuggets problem is you do this and use that life you could die again 3 seconds later and you have lost 3000 nuggets.
The prices are high for items because you get huge rewards for passing missions which is a good point to make to everyone but some of the items you would like to unlock might not be there for you.
You can unlock a metal front to the carriage so you can hit those stubborn wooden blocks out of the way which is great for you and offers you a chance to advance further in the game but again you're never told how long you have them for.
== Graphics and Game Play ==
The graphics on the game are actually quite good you do not see a whole lot the carriage and you see the back of your rider so there is not a lot to be going on with there. The dark caves do light up in certain areas and you can easily identify gold and gems easily.
The carriage is done in a nice way it is not too big and intense with colour and graphics and you get the feeling with the graphics that you actually are in a cave riding yourself you feel encaptured in this game which is why it works well for me.
The game play on occasions has a small fault. If you use the iPhone and swipe upwards this is meant to make your character jump up and skip above those troublesome wooden blocks out to stop your ride.
However, sometimes you try this and your character remains static and you can keep swiping upwards and he will not budge and that is frustrating for me. This never happens when you need to duck below blocks or swing your arms out to reach gold however.
The speed of the game intensifies as you continue your journey and items and tracks disappear quicker and sometimes the warning signs disappear as well so you cannot work out when your journey will end and I love all that.
The game play is rapid and you do not have a chance to look away and if you pause the game and continue the speed is the same so you have to judge the best time to do this.
== Final Thoughts ==
I think this game is one of those which might be good for some people and not for others. The game once you begin to get used to it can be quick and addictive. The game is from Miniclip who produces many games online and perhaps the online version will appeal to people more than the iPhone game ever will.
I think the graphics are unique because they actually make you think you are in a cave in real life which is very fun to experience. Overall this game is one I would get to try it is free and fun to play.