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Raw or Roasted

For: Mobile

Chicken run

Product: Raw or Roasted | Developer: 3 Dynamics | Publisher: THQ | Format: Mobile | Genre: Casual, Racing | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 540kb | Version: Europe
Raw or Roasted Mobile, thumbnail 1
Though it's almost British tradition to expect the worst, there's one surefire way of ensuring that our athletes come top of the medal table at London 2012: hold back each and every competitor arriving in the UK at passport control.

Sure, each race would be a one man (or woman) contest, but who's going to complain when we stride proudly to the top of the medal table?

Though Raw or Roasted's races come equipped with two competitors rather than one, there's a crucial factor that means it's the perfect training exercise for those daring to line-up on track next summer: both racers are actually controlled by you.

One on one

Here, the job is to race two farmyard animals (cows, pigs, sheep, chickens and, bizarrely, eggs with legs) against each other as they hurtle down a series of hazard-ridden courses.

The real challenge stems from taking charge of both of them at the same time. What results could probably best be described as Canabalt meets chaos.

The tracks themselves are 2D affairs played out in a number of striking settings – outer space, mountains, and caves just some of the locations on offer – where jumping and moving up and down between levels are the only real actions available.

That's because this is a game focused on survival. Each level comes with scores of foes that can result in you meeting your maker one way or another.

Though mere contact usually isn't enough to kill you (some of the animals you race as are able to take more hits than others), it can set you back, and – in true Micro Machines style – result in you dropping out of the race when the back-end of the screen catches up with you.

It's an approach that, in terms of level design, is as simple as it sounds. However, when you consider that success relies on your ability to race both animals concurrently, Raw or Roasted is exposed for the needlessly complex exercise it really is.

Race of two halves

Whatever race you take on, the screen is split horizontally down the middle, with buttons on the left side of the keypad controlling the competitor at the top, and those on the right his friend below.

It's a messy system that leads to confusion in spades and ultimately feels like an cheap way of making a simple challenge artificially elaborate.

Though there's potential here for some truly mesmerising multiplayer mayhem – albeit at particularly close quarters – there's no mention of it during play itself, suggesting the game is intended to be a solo affair.

That's an unwise move, and one that leaves Raw or Roasted as the kind of race that will be over quicker than you can say Usain Bolt.
Raw or Roasted
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 8 April 2011
Split screen racing designed for just one player, Raw or Roasted is as bizarre as it is impractical, with its tracks undermined but what's an unworkable control set up
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