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Fumes Stunt Racer

For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Up in smoke

Product: Fumes Stunt Racer | Developer: Sector3 Games | Publisher: Sector3 Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade, Racing, Retro | Players: 1 | File size: 78.8 MB | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Fumes Stunt Racer iPhone, thumbnail 1
No prizes (not even a David Villa signed shirt!) for guessing the inspiration behind developer Sector 3's - ahem - stunt car racer.

If you hadn't picked up on my none-too-subtle clue, Geoff Crammond's seminal 1989 Amiga racing game serves as the template for Fumes Stunt Racer in terms of gameplay and track design.

But it's not a perfect copy. While Crammond's first-person cockpit view - right down to the engine pipes, suspension springs, and billowing fumes - crude vector graphics, and elevated roller coaster-cum-race tracks have been resurrected to the last letter, much of the charm and enjoyment is sorely missing.

Too hot to handle

Fumes Stunt Racer demands a more measured approach than your average iPhone racer. Whether adopting the touch or the more natural tilt controls, speeding into the apex at full pelt yields only one result: a painful nosedive over the edge, costing you both time and momentum.

Cornering is an art, yet the overly sensitive handling makes holding a good line through the bend absurdly difficult and incredibly frustrating.

With little to no sense of speed, even when hurtling through the air on the deranged Jump Land, and the barely helpful splits, it's not even easy to gauge your progress around the circuit.

And since each of the 15 tracks is unlocked only by completing a lap within a set time, a clock and mini-map on permanent display wouldn't go amiss.

Time of the essence

In many ways, it's rather fitting that as the gaps in the tracks multiply, so too do the omissions in Fumes Stunt Racer accumulate in your mind.

The lack of multiplayer mode, vehicular customisation, or track creation features severely cripples replayability, while the lack of damage modelling seems criminal in view of the gravity-defying antics.

To make matters worse, some of the menu options are nigh impossible to select even with slender fingers like mine: second or even third surgical stabs are required at times.

Full OpenFeint integration rouses the competitive spirits to a point, but the overriding impression is of a racer desperately in need of a pit stop or three.
Fumes Stunt Racer
Reviewer photo
Richard Brown | 22 October 2010
Fumes Stunt Racer pays tribute to a gaming classic, yet fails to recapture the original's magic through a combination of poor handling, harsh linear progression, and glaring omissions
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