Jet Car Stunts was once a really well received mobile game, praised by critics and now it’s taken a giant leap onto the latest consoles gaming has to offer. Although it’s said to be more of a remake than a direct port, we’ll see whether this hybrid of racing and platforming genres, developed by Grip Games, can hold its own on a much bigger stage.
If games were judged on first impressions then Jet Car Stunts would be a nailed on failure from my point of view. It’s not often that I find myself struggling to complete a tutorial, nor that I could be frustrated during such phase to the point of a rage quit, but that’s what happened here with a game that wants to combine both racing and platforming. Am I just terrible at video gaming? Have I coasted by through other games with no skills for over 20 years? Or is this just a game that doesn’t handle its difficulty levels that well?
In truth it’s probably a mixture of all three. That’s why I didn’t give up; I was still searching for a beam of light in these dark times of annoyance.
The basis of Jet Car Stunts is having a car that, using a boost, can become a flying jet in order to traverse the unconventional tracks lay before you. This all takes place in the air surrounded by blue sky and fluffy white clouds on suspended apparatus. And after finally overcoming a part of the tutorial, through luck more than anything else, it was time to have a bash at one of the three main game modes available.
“Platforming“ offers exactly what you’d expect given its name, the main aim being to get from point A to point B by driving round harsh corners, flying through hoops and launching off ramps. You soon realise that the boost has limited usage, meaning it has to be used sparingly and appropriately in order to succeed through to each checkpoint where it’ll refill.
If you fall off the platforms or crash head on into a structure then you’ll have to retry. Just like in the Trials game series, trial and error may be your only hope in managing the boosting resource and controlling the jet/car through tight spots. Guess what? You only get a relatively small amount of retries, believe me they run out really quickly even on Medium difficulty, before it forces you to start the whole level again, so after nailing one tough section only to fail overall it’s a real kick in the teeth.
Then we have “Time Trial”, the only mode where no frustration was found but that’s only because the difficulty of the track layouts feel lessened, even the Hard ones were straight forward enough to grab a bronze medal. If you want those gold medals though, I hope you have the patience of a saint, for I do not. This is the mode for those gamers who enjoy trying to master a track and getting the best time overall across five laps. By the looks of it you’ll always be racing ghosts with a better time than yours which gives you a carrot to chase.
Last up is the “Collector” mode which gives you the apparatus setup and wants you to grab those stars dotted around the area. Following the given path won’t grant you the entire amount needed, oh no, instead it’s up to the player to think outside the proverbial box and use any slight incline or ramp to get to these hard to reach areas. At one point in the earlier levels I had to bump my car over the edge of straight piece of track and boost through the air all the way across to the other side of the track to grab one star. I needed a whole lot of retries and sense prevailed here because I haven’t hit the limit yet so I presume there isn’t one.
At first, I disliked Jet Car Stunts more than any other game this year, but after a steep learning curve and changing the control layout to something more conventional for a racer, I at least understood what the game was trying to do and how to approach it. Although it won me over to a degree I still have to say the difficulty is detrimental to the game and I can guarantee even though it’s only £3.99 a lot of people would get no value for money as they would delete it once the frustration kicked in. The look of the tracks also leave a lot to be desired, once you’ve seen one you’ve more or less seen them all give or take a few extra hoops and loops.
Only buy it if you have the required patience, even then when your skills kick in and you’re doing well it’s not all that enjoyable.