RIP Rally is a sort of wolf in sheep's clothing, assuming you replace wolf with car, sheep's clothing with twin stick shooter and the sheep with,er...zombies.
Messy analogy aside, This is a racing game that isn't really a racing game. It's a shooter with a car as the main character and it plays pretty much how you'd expect. You car has a gun built on to it, one that can be controlled with the right hand virtual analogue stick to fire in any direction, while the left hand controls the car itself. Zombies are your enemies and will run directly at you in huge waves, with one or two stragglers behind.
The arenas start off small but soon widen out with differing levels and obstacles, as well as several points where you can pick up health and new ammo. These need to be scoped out on the first playthrough to work out the best strategy, though from the second level onwards the game nudges you towards more and more powerups to help you defeat the increasing waves of zombies running after you.
In App Purchases are pretty much essential to continue if you don't want to be grinding a single map for hours on end (and trust me, you don't). But first a payment of 69p will remove some of the most annoying adverts I've ever witnessed in a game. Every single race starts with an advert you have to wait for and the menu is littered with them, often sending the rest of the screen into a frenzy of mixed up pixels.
From here, upgrades to the car and the weapons and even new cars can be bought. In game currency takes the form of gold coins and dollars. You'll get a few of the latter and, if you're lucky, one or two of the former in each playthough, but after the first few upgrades they seem few and far between. Which leads to the real money factor, the game is begging you to spend your cash on upgrades to defeat all three objectives on the level.
Not that you'll probably want to get that far. The controls are sluggish and only after several upgrades (with your real money, most likely) will it get anywhere near drivable. Weapons need constantly refilling by driving over icons and are initially woefully underpowered and although there are different types of zombies, from the standard brainless kind to the ones that love to blow themselves up or hurl stuff at you, there's no really exciting element to the game and everything begins to blend into one.
Graphically, the game isn't a looker, either. While the tracks themselves have some nicely designed areas, they're just not that great to look at and the zombies are so small that it's hard to make out much detail, even on the iPad screen. The sound is equally bland, with a cheesy 80's style commentator making exclamations which could have come straight from your own mind, such as "This is boring" and "My granny can drive faster than that". It left me wondering if this wasn't an attempt at some metareference about the game itself or your time playing it.
While RIP Rally satisfies the basics of a twin stick shooter and does, at least, try to be a little different with the car theme, it simply falls down for being too drab and badly balanced. The handling and adverts just tip it over the 'do not buy' edge.
- Sound: 4
- Graphics: 4
- Gameplay: 3
- Longevity: 3
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