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Cracking Sands

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Not cracking

Product: Cracking Sands | Developer: Polarbit | Publisher: Polarbit | Format: iPad | Genre: Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Cracking Sands iPad, thumbnail 1
The best cartoon karting games understand that precision is of the utmost importance. You can layer as many wacky characters and hilarious weapons as you want on top, but the core driving experience needs to be spot on.

Unfortunately, that's just not the case with Cracking Sands. While it has some interesting ideas, it fails to convey the simple joy of throwing a small vehicle around a dangerous track, and often leaves you more frustrated than thrilled.

Broken wheels

The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where racing around dangerous tracks is the only legitimate pastime left. You'll thrash your way around a series of tracks, tilting your device to steer and tapping and sliding to unleash boosts and weapons.

It's in the controls where the problems start. If you're holding your iPad in the wrong way then the tilt controls reverse, meaning left turns you right and vice versa. It's an annoyance, and it's symptomatic of the troubles with the rest of the game.

There are different styles of race to play through, all with their own victory conditions. Some are simple blasts to the finish line, while others are about staying in the lead and grabbing points, or not being last when a timer counts down to zero.

They're reasonably entertaining, but the balance of the game seems skewed. It's rare you're in a real tussle for the lead, and often when you are it's a broken bit of scenery or the floppy controls that lead to you being overtaken.

Sand in your pants

Sometimes, your view is obscured at vital moments by overhangs or other parts of the track. The collision detection isn't great, and it's all too easy to plummet to your death in a crevasse when the game doesn't do a good enough job of telling you which way you should be going.

It all adds up to a game that, while it has its moments, is mostly underwhelming and feels a little underdone. There are nice ideas here, but often it feels like you're playing a beta, full of bugs and poor design decisions.

Cracking Sands is the shell of a good game, and sometimes the races click and you can see what the developers were trying to do. Then you stop for no reason, or drive off a cliff, and it's back to being frustrated.

Cracking Sands
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 30 January 2013
While there are some standout moments in Cracking Sands, all too often it feels like it isn't quite finished
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Dec 2012
Post count:
@Jongjungbu | 22:52 - 30 January 2013
Wow, another bad review. I'm glad I still haven't dropped some cash on it yet; it's still sitting in my Wishlist.
Jul 2012
Post count:
Contest Chris | 18:07 - 30 January 2013
When I saw DroidGamers giving this 2/5 I thought they were joking. So its real, this is a broken game.