Make no mistake, this spin-off from the rip-roarin’ good time that was Reckless Racing is quite a different beast gameplay-wise. The clue’s in the title really: rather than racing rickety ol’ hot-rods around dirt tracks, Reckless Getaway (out now, $2.99) sees you jumping behind the wheel of a souped-up muscle car and trying to escape the law. Oh, and before you ask, nope, there’s nary a pickup truck or banjo twanging hillbilly to be found here either.
Now, some franchise fans are likely to cock a wary eyebrow at Polorbit/Pixelbite’s decision to veer in a bold new direction with this Reckless follow-up, but rest assured Getaway’s heady blend of Burnout-esque vehicular carnage and punchy high-score orientated gameplay is pretty much a perfect fit for a fast paced pick-up-and-play style title.
Each of Getaway’s 16 stages begins with you hightailing it away from the scene of your latest daring bank heist with droves of cops in hot pursuit – and instantly it feels as if you’ve been thrown into the thick of a no-holds-barred 70’s car chase thriller. Tires squeal, dust flies and vehicles and scenery alike are obliterated in spectacular fashion as you lead the police a merry dance through bustling environments.
Auto-acceleration and a super-streamlined control scheme (two arrow buttons to steer your car left and right – nothing more, nothing less) mean Getaway is an easy game to dive straight into.
The idea here is straightforward: make it to the end of each course in one piece while racking up a high-score based on the sheer amount of mayhem you manage to cause en route. Points are awarded for the likes of near misses with other vehicles, taking out cop cars and pulling off thrilling, death-defying stunts such as flying off ramps or dodging high speed trains. You’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled for power-ups and gold coins as you hurtle along because nabbing as many as possible is vital in order to earn a high enough star rating to unlock the next set of levels.
This, for me, was the only thing that put much of a dent in Getaway’s potential for instantaneous and unfettered fun as it can be frustratingly hard to achieve a perfect four star rating on certain tracks unless you replay them repeatedly and start memorizing their layout and the locations of ramps and coins. This forced ‘grinding’ struck me as being at odds with the game’s fast and furious dynamic and it can be a bit of a downer to have to engage your brain when all you really want to do is mindlessly enjoy carving out a path of destruction through levels.
Great as it is, Getaway could stand to have a few new additions made come update time. An ‘endless mode’ (think Canabalt on four wheels) and some kind of a ‘role reversal’ mode that allows you to play as the good guys as they chase down a crook are top of my wishlist.
iFanzine Verdict: The law of diminishing returns obviously doesn’t apply to sidequels because Reckless Getaway is even more action-packed, addictive and exhilarating than its predecessor (no mean feat!). Despite a sometimes stymieing and frustrating difficulty curve, this one’s well worth taking for a joyride.