Putting the top down.
Few iPhone and iPad games are as charming as Bumpy Road. This simple to grasp yet challenging App stars an elderly couple that sets off to enjoy a peaceful drive. Your job is to guide them to safety while collecting memories that combine to form a story, viewed in the Memory Lane section.
Bumpy Road's controls make it unique and instantly addictive. Instead of using a virtual d-pad or tilting the device, you press the ground to modify it, creating hills for the vehicle to slide up and down. You can also tap said vehicle to launch it through the air.
Doing this lets the lovebirds reach higher platforms and collect gizmos, special items that fill the gizmo meter that constantly decreases; you don't want it to run out. At the same time, jumping allows you to avoid pools of water.
On top of that, hitting switches makes platforms appear and disappear, a feature that proves useful for dodging hazards and snagging memories in high places.
It's a wonderful experience no matter which of the two modes you play, Evergreen Ride (travel as far as possible), or Sunday Trip (reach the finish line ASAP).
Of course, Bumpy Ride's outstanding presentation only serves to enhance the fun. The developers did a wonderful job with the soundtrack, and the colorful graphics have a distinctly European flavor.
Now factor in universal support, achievements and leaderboards via Game Center, and you have one of the best games to hit the App Store in weeks. Bumpy Road is a bit short on options, but the desire to improve one's score, in combination with the aforementioned graphics, music and user-friendly touch controls, make it irresistible.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.
What's Hot: User-friendly touch controls, addictive concept, charming 2D visuals and music, Game Center support, universal download.
What's Not: $2.99 feels a bit pricey, only two modes.