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Hands-on with Dream Track Nation for iPhone and iPad


Summary Preview Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  
Product: Dream Track Nation | Developer: PowPowGames | Publisher: Chillingo | Genre: Arcade | Networking: wireless (adhoc)
For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
Dream Track Nation iPhone, thumbnail 1
It’s no longer enough for games to be solitary, isolated affairs.

Even the most basic of games on the App Store is linked up to some kind of leaderboard, while a good number also contain Doodle Jump-styled challenges for friends to beat.

Dream Track Nation goes one step further than your run-of-the-mill iOS title, however, packing in not only your standard Crystal and Game Center features, but also introducing a whole slew of creative and sharing functions that mark it out from similar games.

Time trials

The title is essentially a far less frustrating version of Xbox Live Arcade sensation Trials HD, complete with complicated vertical track design and physics bearing down on your daredevil driver.

Your aim is to safely navigate each level and reach the finish line, accelerating forward to leap over ramps and reversing to slip back down chutes: the ultimate goal is to grab all the stars and beat the best times.

Naturally, any jump or drop (and there are a heck of a lot of 'em) will send your car spinning according to gravity.

Tilting the device lets you make corrections to the angle while in mid-air, so deft control is needed to keep the wheels pointing down.

Thankfully, unlike in Trials HD, having the car flip over doesn’t spell instant failure, and a quick flick of the wrists will get your plucky driver back the right way up.

Trick shot

There’s a little more depth to Dream Track Nation than merely trundling along the tracks picking up stars, though, especially when it comes to getting to the top of the leaderboards.

Rotating your vehicle so it performs a forward flip in the air, for instance, cuts off half a second from your total time, while more impressive rotational tricks cut ever larger amounts.

That’s if you pull them off, mind. Get too cocky with your spins and you’re likely to lose rather than gain time.

You’ll also look very silly should you mess up said tricks while trying to impress a friend in multiplayer - played out as two ghost cars attempting to beat each other to the finish.

Full grid

While the controls and the bright presentation are sure to win the game some fans, it’s the track creator that will likely keep you returning for more.

Although I spent only a short time with the creator (as you can probably tell from the hands-on vid below), it appears robust and varied - with enough tools to create professional-looking designs.

These creations can then be played on your iPad or iPhone, or shared with others and raced on with a few taps.

Dream Track Nation looks a little simple from the screenshots, but it’s this combination of deft controls and full-featured track creation that has our motors running.

We’ll find out whether it can pull off its tricks or just get stuck in second gear later this month.

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Reviewer photo
Will Wilson 8 July 2011
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