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For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Rocket up the exhaust pipe

Product: Motorblast | Developer: Mad Processor | Format: iPad | Genre: Racing | Players: 1-4 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: Europe
Motorblast iPad, thumbnail 1
They may rank as two of the most assured drivers on the planet, but it’d be interesting to see how the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel would cope if their rivals were armed not with KERS and fancy drag-reduction systems but with rockets, mines, and EMP emitters.

It’s harder to maintain a crisp racing line when you’ve got heavy weaponry bearing down on you, as you’ll discover in Motorblast.

On the face of it, the game is a circuit-based racer in which you contest the track with three other cars, but there’s the added twist of Mario Kart-style pick-ups which can drastically alter the course of the competition.

These range from heat-seeking missiles to mines and rocket-boosters, all of which can give you a massive advantage if deployed correctly. These items are acquired by driving through one of the many boxes scattered around the circuit, and are chosen at random.

Fair means or foul

Motorblast doesn’t just focus on combat racing, however - throughout its Career mode you’ll also encounter other race types, such as basic time trials, events that only feature a single item (rockets, boosters, etc), and even pure contests where it’s just you and your rivals, with no ordinance to aid your performance.

When played on a new iPhone 5 or fifth-generation iPod touch, Motorblast is visually stunning. The tracks are highly detailed and and benefit from a wide range of graphical effects to make them appear even more real.

The vehicles are also impressive, boasting shiny metalwork that becomes more dented and tarnished as each race progresses. They also feature realistic damage, so doors and bonnets fly off if you become involved in a particularly nasty pile-up.

The crashes may look spectacular, but they also cause a little bit of frustration. Even the slightest nudge from behind can cause your car to enter a spin which effectively loses you the race, and should you become embroiled in a crunch with your opponents then whoever emerges from the cloud of dust unscathed has essentially triumphed - it’s almost impossible to regain lost ground once you’ve suffered a bump.

Better with friends

This is mitigated slightly by the brevity of the races. A couple of laps is all it takes to reach the finish, which means you can always dust yourself off and try again if you do come unstuck.

Alongside the single-player mode there’s a local multiplayer option, which allows you and three friends to battle it out across a wide range of courses.

It’s a neat addition, but we were hoping for a proper online matchmaking system, because Motorblast really does come alive when played against other people. Here’s hoping that a future update includes this element.

Although it’s often unforgiving, and the twitchy physics can generate intense frustration, Motorblast manages to remain enjoyable thanks to its entertaining action and lush visuals.
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 13 December 2012
Motorblast very nearly plays as good as it looks, but is still well worth a few laps if you’re a fan of combat racers like Mario Kart and Wipeout
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