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iPad  header logo

Flashout 2

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Flash in the pan

Product: Flashout 2 | Developer: Jujubee Games Studio | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Multiplayer, Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Flashout 2 iPad, thumbnail 1
Sometimes, Flashout 2 feels like the gravitational racing equivalent of WWE.

The races seem scripted, predetermined, as though the game has run the numbers before you got a chance to play and has decided on a story.

The pack zooms off ahead of you from the start line, and you spend the next few laps somehow reeling them back in.

And even if you're duelling it out a few hundred metres away from the finish line, somehow your opponent will end up ten seconds behind you when the times are totted up in the results.

It gives the races a strange, detached feel. And while things are a little better in the time trial and murder-as-many-people-as-you-can modes, the racing core never manages to be as exciting as it should be.

Because you're in the future, everything is lens flare

You start the game as a plucky up-and-coming racer, working your way through a hefty series of campaigns to become the best in the world.

The default controls see you tilting to steer; tapping a button to brake; and hitting other buttons to fire rockets, shoot guns, and use your nitro when you have one.

The real aim of the game, though, is to earn cash. Pretty soon, you'll find that the racing ship you buy to begin with just isn't powerful enough to compete with the big boys and girls, so you'll need to buy some upgrades or a whole new ride.

Quite often, though, you'll find yourself short on money, so you'll have to head back to earlier campaigns to try and drum some up. That repetition really exposes some of the bigger flaws in the single-player game.

There's a genuine lack of arcade snap to proceedings, which in a bite-sized futuristic racer isn't really good enough.

Everything zooms past with neon sparks, but there isn't enough detail to tell the tracks apart. Plus, the handling isn't quite sharp enough.

I feel the need, the need for safety equipment and rigorous mechanical checks

However, there is another side to the game that pulls it out of the doldrums.

IAPs explained
You can buy bundles of cash to swell your coffers and get the better racing equipment sooner.

The cheapest nets you 10,000 and costs 69p / 99c. The most expensive nets you one million and costs £13.99 / $19.99.

In a game that costs £1.99 / $2.99, that does feel a little on the steep side.
While the multiplayer portion does suffer from some of the problems of its single-player counterpart, there's a rich thrill that comes from racing against other people.

As well as competing against others in head-to-head races, you can take on the ghosts of other players if there's no one about, or you can make bets with the in-game currency if you think your skills are up to the test.

Stripped of the AI-associated problems in the single-player campaign, the game underneath is given a chance to shine here. And while it isn't perfect, it's engaging enough to keep your fingers busy and your heart racing for a good deal longer than the single-player sections.

You use the same profile across both modes, too, so cash and upgrades from the single-player campaign transfer over and vice versa.

I assure you there is a flippy-spinny hover car somewhere in this picture

Unfortunately, the multiplayer side of things isn't exactly teeming with people at the moment, which means you'll probably spend a chunk of your time in the game either waiting to play or grinding through the single-player mode.

There's certainly potential here, but Flashout 2 fails to be as bombastic as its inspiration.

It lacks the razor-edge cool of the likes of WipeOut, for one thing. And while the multiplayer is a nice distraction, it doesn't do quite enough to divert your attention from the lacklustre campaign.
Flashout 2
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 28 March 2014
Flashout 2 is neither exciting or sharp enough in single-player mode nor busy enough in its much more impressive multiplayer to make it an essential purchase
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