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iPad App Video Review: Burnout CRASH!

by Andrew Koziara

Burnout Crash is the most recent game in Criterion's Burnout franchise. It wasn't a true sequel, but rather a spin-off downloadable title on the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. That game has been ported to iOS with some really mixed quality. The gameplay is fun, but gets tiresome.

The soundtrack and voice-overs are awesome, showcasing Criterion's excellent sense of humor, but a lot of those found in the original are missing in this port. On top of all of that, the game is excessively buggy upon this initial release.

Crash! is based on a specific game mode from previous burnout games called 'Crash Mode.' Your job is to speed into an intersection and create as much carnage as you possibly can, and your score is measured by dollars in property damage. After your initial crash, you'll still be able to move around when your crash meter is filled by exploding again and again and again. This is done by simply swiping around the screen, always nudging your car around. Plenty of special cars will drive onto the scene, such as the Pizza truck, which takes you into the 'wheel of pizza' mini-game once destroyed. Other special cars include an explosive tanker, police cars and taxis, and even bank trucks with loads of extra money.

There are three main game modes at each intersection. Rush Hour gives you ninety seconds to do as much damage as possible. Pile Up has you destroying cars until your inferno meter is filled, but you also have to keep any cars from escaping. Each car that escapes will lower your inferno multiplier. You can only let five cars escape before it's game over. The final mode, Road Block, also has you keeping cars from escaping, but builds up to three pre-set 'features,' which range from special vehicles showing up to meteor showers, massive sink holes, and eventually a level ending destructive force unique to each area of the game. The game is divided into six differently themed areas, from regular neighborhoods to beaches to Roswell, each with three unique intersections to play all three game modes in, totaling up to 54 levels.

The game is very novel and fun at first, but it gets old pretty quickly. The lack of any proper tutorial is also confusing as you try each mode for the first time, having to learn by trial and error. The game requires far more strategy than you would think. Positioning of your car is crucial, as accidentally blowing up in the middle of a pile can easily clear up an intersection. A special ambulance will occasionally drive by, and if he can get through the map without crashing, he'll take away one of your escaped cars, but he's an idiot and will crash into anything. There is some strategy in which vehicle you use for each level as well, as some have more destructive explosions, while others are more maneuverable.

The graphics are simple and colorful, although, playing on an iPad you'll notice some distinctly bad looking textures. The soundtrack is still excellent. Game Center is supported, but I and many other people are seeing a bug that tells us the game isn't recognized by Game Center. Oh, the game was published by EA, by the way, so Origin is also supported. The app is iOS Universal as well, and only reason I chose to play this on an iPad is simply because it can be harder to follow the chaos on a smaller iPhone screen, but both work great. Burnout Crash is available for five dollars at the time of this review, and while I really enjoyed it overall, many people will not, and there are too many minor issues to wholeheartedly recommend it. Luckily, EA has sales very frequently, so I'm sure this game will drop to a dollar sooner rather than later. If you're interested, I'd wait for such a sale.

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