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iPhone  header logo

Monster Trucks Nitro II

For: iPhone

Big, bad, dirty and mean

Product: Monster Trucks Nitro 2 | Developer: RedLynx | Format: iPhone | Genre: Racing | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.00
 
Monster Trucks Nitro 2 iPhone, thumbnail 1
The motor sport equivalent of sumo wrestling, monster truck racing features little room for finesse and skill.

With the hulking vehicles boasting oversized tyres and stupidly powerful engines, the tight, precise driving that defines so many other forms of racing simply dosn’t apply.

It’s ironic then that Monster Trucks Nitro II demands from you absolute precision. Unless you treat these gargantuan 4x4 beasts with care, you’re likely to end up on the scrap heap.

Muscle machines

The game is divided into several different categories, all sharing the same common goal: getting your truck to the end of the course before the wire-frame ghost truck.

As you win races you earn money, which grants access to new challenges. The catch is that the more advanced races cost a lot to enter, so you need to get some wins under your belt before you can mix it up with the big boys.

Acceleration and braking are controlled via a slider at the bottom of the screen. Pushing it right places your foot on the gas, while moving to the left applies the anchor. Leaving it in the middle allows the truck’s engine to idle, which is useful when you don’t want to charge headlong into an oncoming road block.

Speed is less of a concern than steering. Positioning your truck is everything and coming to grips with the tilt controls is essential for success. Approach a jump at the wrong angle and it could ruin your entire sprint.

Revving in neutral


The aim is to keep all four wheels on the ground whenever possible so they gain maximum traction and therefore allow you to achieve top speed. It’s important to keep in mind that even when you’re driving up a hill you have to ensure you have positioned your truck correctly: holding it horizontally during an uphill run will cause the nose to dig into the tarmac.

It’s a rather counter-intuitive – not to mention wholly unrealistic – method of control, but it ensures that the game poses a stern challenge. Even the slightest movement can have a dramatic effect on your truck’s behaviour.

Along the way you're able to pick up nitro boosts that grant a temporary speed increase. You can also gain nitro by performing mid-air flips. These are executed by holding your handset vertically and should only be considered when you know you’ve got sufficient air.

Let’s off-road

In fact, you may want to avoid flipping your truck altogether, because the game is curiously inconsistent when it comes to registering a successful stunt.

If your truck’s front or back as much as graze the floor the flip is registered as a failure and no boost is applied. On some of the later racers, missing one flip effectively ends the race as you have little hope of being able to catch your rival.

The physics are clearly intended to be the star of the show, but there are irksome issues involving the massive amount of debris scattered about the track. It’s frustratingly easy to land awkwardly on a rock or catch the bottom of a bridge with your roof and either of these events can ruin your chances of claiming victory.

While Monster Trucks Nitro II is an improvement over its rather tepid predecessor it still doesn’t achieve greatness. Dainty controls and contradictory physics conspire to erode the enjoyment on offer.
 
Monster Trucks Nitro II
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 16 April 2010
This nitro boost has given the Monster Trucks Nitro series a kick up the exhaust after a lacklustre first outing, but this isn’t robust enough to ensure it captures pole position
 
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