Raging Thunder Review

Raging Thunder (v1.1.0) (Android/iOS)
Players: 1-4
Genre: Racing
Developer: Polarbit
Marketplace/Apple Store Price: $.99
Release Date: October 10, 2008

Game played on HTC Thunderbolt running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread)

Parent Talk: Raging Thunder, despite its intimidating name, provides innocent arcade racing fun to the masses. This approachable game can be enjoyed by all who thirst to burn some rubber on the tarmac.

Review Basis: CompletedArcade mode, and Championship. Sampled the online (wi-fi or data) multiplayer.

The Great:

Quick, straightforward racing fun. Raging Thunder isn’t concerned with burdening players with the deeper elements a racer can throw at you. There’s frankly not much even to do in this $.99 package. Yet what matters is that the game is easy to pick up. Zip around a track or two, have fun, and be done. Raging Thunder excels in that.

The Good:

+ Quality steering. The idea of tilting a device (phone, controller, etc.) to control a virtual vehicle doesn’t typically strike me as exciting or intuitive. Nonetheless, doing so in Raging Thunder manages to feel good. The mistakes I made were truly my fault.

+ Nice-looking tracks. Racing Thunder isn’t a visual masterpiece, but definitely looks the part of a quick, no-nonsense racing game. Decent scenery accompanies each track (yes, I do look at such things…), and the sports cars are varied.

+ Thunder and money. That combination probably sounds odd, but bear with me. Thunder and money can be picked up on the tracks when driven into. Thunder is available everywhere (Quick Race, Arcade & Championship) and provides a nice speed boost as you tap and hold the blue bar on the left side of the screen. Money litters the Championship tracks to serve as added prize money for sprucing vehicles and purchasing new ones. Both are useful, and an interesting challenge to acquire.

The So-So:

+-  Multiplayer. It’s neat that RT supports wi-fi signals, and your phone’s data connection for online competition. I don’t know if 3 or 4G participants enjoy any kind of serious advantage over wi-fi users, but that’s impossible for me to determine. If you’re able to find people to challenge on the servers, the game plays well.

The Bad:

–  Music. You’re not only subjected to a cheesy techno beat, but it proves exasperating by being the only one you hear.

– Laughing skulls. It somewhat defeats the theme of the game when tracks also come populated with yellow skulls. They not only drain your thunder meter harshly and slow you down significantly when out of the blue juice, but laugh when doing either.

– No going back. While playing Championship, you can’t return to any previously finished races. You can improve cars and purchase new ones along the way, but there’s no looking back over your shoulder. Well isn’t that a nice replay incentive?

The Ugly:

Playing favorites. For better or worse, Raging Thunder likes the AI better than you. For one, opponents are immune from picking up the aforementioned yellow skulls. Furthermore, they don’t seem adversely affected at all when spun out. In other words, staying close to the competition for a few seconds fills up your right-hand ‘tackle’ meter. The intention is for you bash some bumpers with it, but what’s the point if their recovery is virtually instant?

The Lowdown:

Raging Thunder isn’t a grandiose racer, but one meant for quick play sessions. It doesn’t last for hours, should be muted before long, and unfairly favors the computer that you must defeat. Still, it controls well, is fun in the time given it, and doesn’t look so bad either. If $.99 sounds reasonable for this, then scoot your way up to the starting line.

Average Score Scale: 6 (+/- 0.5) out of 10

Personal Final Score: 6/10 (Neutral)

Reason for +0.5 Inflation: You’re not interested in the frills of other racing series.

Reason for -0.5 Deflation: You think there’s not enough content to even justify $.99.


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