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Dream Track Nation

For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Product: Dream Track Nation | Developer: PowPowGames | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | File size: 19.2MB | Version: US | App version: 1.2
Dream Track Nation iPhone, thumbnail 1
Racing games have had to reinvent themselves on Apple's mobile devices because, well, there isn’t a joystick.

Tilting, tapping, and turning via the built-in accelerometer and on-screen buttons have all, therefore, become the norm.

Dream Track Nation
overcomes these hardware limitations by focussing on the strengths of the iPad and iPhone, and by keeping the gameplay simple. It works.

Dream a little dream

In Dream Track Nation, you win by getting from the green flag to the red flag while collecting most of the stars along the race track. Heck, it doesn’t get much simpler than that.

The complications arise from the composition and location of the race track itself, which, as the title suggests, is floating way up in the air.

Worse, the whole thing is broken up into pieces. Your little hot rod has to gain some serious momentum to stay on track – literally. The majority of the game is spent in mid-air, twisting, pushing, and aiming for the next piece of track.

Luckily, the controls are easy to pick up. Tapping the brake or gas icon will work in the expected fashion, while turning the iPhone or iPad itself will make the car do backflips or forward flips.

There’s no pressure to be a perfect car gymnast here, as landing upside down just requires a quick turn of the device to get going again. Dream Track Nation really encourages cramming in as many stunts as possible, especially since bonus points are given for the fancier stuff.

Share the wealth

Dream Track Nation succeeds on two levels. Firstly, the built-in stages across the three worlds are bite-sized yet creative. Secondly, the multiplayer components encourage experimentation.

The 60 stages cover three different zones: Texas, Alaska, and New York. There isn’t a huge amount of difference between the worlds, but the individual levels possess a surprising amount of creativity.

In an almost Sonic The Hedgehog-style experience, Dream Track Nation throws towering loops, ramps that seem to fly nowhere, and precarious declines onto every screen.

The result is an adrenaline-packed two-minute or so run around each circuit, and, unlike some of the later Sonic games, the race is designed well enough so that you aren’t flying into the abyss every five seconds.

Get your motor running

The placement of the stars is also something of a design triumph. Completing a level quickly and carefully means nothing if most of the stars aren’t collected. Some stars require going backwards on a track: others need a leap of faith to reach. Collecting stars not only unlocks levels, but also additional cars and other goodies.

Furthermore, Dream Track Nation encourages sharing and playing with others via its comprehensive track creator, à la Excitebike. You can make your own devious creations, share them with your friends, and race around their imaginatively concocted courses, too. You can also race head-to-head against your buddies over wi-fi.

Dream Track Nation takes some old skool daredevil-racing elements and adds nice graphics, good multiplayer, and intuitive play. It’s definitely worth a spin.

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Dream Track Nation
Reviewer photo
Damon Brown | 10 August 2011
Dream Track Nation is an old skool racing blast with great multiplayer options
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