The worst portable racer since Burnout Legends.
What happened? Last week, we enjoyed the console version of Split/Second, Disney Interactive's electrifying, stunt-filled racer. We loved it, from the super-explosive action to the multiple racing options. The last couple of days, we ran through the iPhone edition and it god-awful.
The concept is still the same. You take part in one of the most popular reality TV shows on television, Split/Second. In it, you earn first place victories against rivals, but there's a catch. Each driver has access to specific traps on each course, which he or she can detonate to throw off the competition. You'll need to earn these abilities through drifting, drafting and jumping, but once you achieve the power, you can literally blow anyone away.
Split/Second on the iPhone has a few options. The single-player mode features a variety of events, including Elimination (last one surviving wins) and other over-the-top tourneys. You can also race against friends in Bluetooth-supported multiplayer, should you feel compelled to challenge someone locally with a few laps around the track.
Sadly, the game has too many issues. First, the graphics aren't the best. While the cars look OK and some of the explosions are impressive, they have a huge negative effect on the frame rate. As a result, your thrilling ride slows to a crawl, even when nothing happens on screen.
Even worse, the collision detection comes up short. You'll crash when you least expect it, resulting in a huge drop from first to last place in a, well, split second. The computer is no help, as it manages to recover, despite your best efforts to stop it.
Unfortunately, that leaves little to no hope for the gameplay. While we like the way the cars perform, the ridiculous difficulty and technical problems stall this ride. That's too bad, because the audio's decent, with adventurous themes to keep you racing. On that note, it's a shame you can't play your own music.
Forget Split/Second for the iPhone. It's not worth the time or effort, especially at $6.99. Save up for the big boy version instead. You'll feel better.
What's Hot: Destruction-filled concept, online multiplayer, creative power plays.
What's Not: Frame rate woes, poor collision detection results in crashing, improper AI balancing, you can't play your own audio.