On paper, you'd expect Turbolab Pursuit to play much like any number of Tiny Wings-inspired games. It's a side-scrolling endless adventure game, full of hills and valleys, with your smooth rides resulting in a handy speed boost. But there's more to this particular game - a lot more.
It's set in a world without cars - or at least, it was until the local mad scientist cobbled together the first automobile. Now everyone wants to get their hands on it, including the local mafia, and you'll have to race the professor as far as you can through the sprawling, colorful world.
There are two things you have to watch out for in the game. You're not alone in Turbolab's hills and valleys, so you'll need to fire at any other vehicles in front of or behind you. Stumble into their landmines or line of fire and you'll lose a heart. Lose two hearts and it's game over. Fortunately, you have a variety of weapons to arm yourself with, from a long-range punching glove to exploding sheep and deadly rocket launchers.
The other limitation of this otherwise endless runner comes in the form of a gigantic hovering airship that's armed with a gigantic magnet. Let this catch up with you and you'll be sucked up into the sky and forced to start your run again. It'll get you eventually, but the key to staying ahead of it is to jump over hill crests so you gain a decent speed boost on landing.
To make sure you do a little better next time, there are a huge number of upgrades to be added to your turbo-powered contraption. You can add different wing parts to the car which might improve your durability or jumping height, for example. Weapons can be upgraded to last a little longer or just pack a meaner punch. Finally, once you've exhausted the many game-enhancing upgrades, you can turn your attention to the driver himself, and kit him out with some silly haircuts and outfits in exchange for cash.
All of this gameplay is very pleasantly daft, but we did find the stop-start nature of the experience rather frustrating. One moment you're racing at the speed of light, the next you're crawling up a hill at a snail's pace. It seems churlish to complain about the amount of content stuffed into the game, but different parts of the game screen battle for your attention constantly, and it can be hard to predict the most fertile route for coin collection.
There's a surprising amount of game here though for the - currently - free entry price, and only the most impatient gamers will find themselves compelled to visit the cash store. It's a lot of fun, it's very pretty to look at, and a huge amount of attention has been paid to the upgrades, weapons and environment. You've no excuse not to try it for yourself, and we encourage you to do just that this weekend.
What's Hot:Packed with imaginative upgrades, this is a very polished runner.
What's Not:The gameplay can be very stop-start in nature, but it's great when it flows.