Put your seats back and your tray tables in their upright and locked position.
For as long as his blood pumped through his veins man has had one universal goal: make things go faster. From coffee to computers, it just has to happen faster. Nothing better represents this need than the automobile, or car for you plebeians out there. So when I saw a game with a title of Jet Car Stunts whose title combines a CAR with a JET while doing something dangerous, how could I resist?
In its Beta right now, JCS is your basic racing game with one slight modification, your car has a jet and should play a prominent role in your decision making whilst hugging a turn. Or at least, that’s the myth.
I’ve played many a level only to find out that the function of said jet is to apparently get in the way of what could have been an awesome racing game. As no slouch when it comes to racing games, I of course went full throttle from the get go, to find that the mechanics were actually sound when it came to the turns and throttle. But I found out quickly that the makers of this game seem to reward you for playing it without the jet at all, all my jumps were long, or too fast, and I gave Wiley E Coyote a run for his money on crashing into walls. Just playing as a normal car seemed to be the answer to every turn and jump, which just begged the question, why the hell do I have a jet in the first place?
The answer may lay with the controlling of the car mid-flight, in which you must control your car via an airbrake system and flaps. This feature seems impossible at first but becomes a nifty challenge along the way. The major downside to this control feature is the poor camera choices. There were many a time where I need to tile the car back to get lift, but this completely blocks my view in front of me while trying to land on what seemed a strip of land the size of a kit kat. This of course meant many a crash, a MEEP! MEEP! resounding in the background of my shattered ego.
Graphically, this game has one of the best interfaces I have ever seen. Easy to understand, great looking, smooth, fast, and the most important part: CONTROLLER FRIENDLY. I play on a TV with a wireless controller, and there’s nothing quite like just turning it on to find it plays well with this kind of game. While the UI certainly has merit, I was fairly let down by the tracks themselves in terms of detail and imagination. I realize that beta means “not done,” these tracks don’t seem even finished, like they are missing a few layers of detail while my computer loads the environment. Not using the jet to the fullest while creating these tracks just seems like a huge missed opportunity. Competition for this game in my mind would be something like Trackmania Nations Forever, in which you play against the world, with simultaneous racing and a built in track creator. That user based content makes for some of the most insane, whack-a-doo tracks I have ever seen, and while I play that game, I think to myself, you know what would make this even more awesome? A freaking jet is what.
Overall, despite my rants, I actually like this game, I just like it more on paper. Jets + Cars = Awesome seems like such an easy formula, but in the end, it needs to be more than sheer novelty, it needs to be part of the gameplay. I really wanted this to be the game I hoped it could be, and maybe in time it can be, with more tracks being added, and a multiplayer feature to rival the competition. But, if you love both racing and jets, by which I mean if you have a pulse, you should at least check this game out, It’s a bit much at $10, but when that amount will never buy you even the smallest part of anything approaching a flying car, it’s nice to know that it can give you one on your computer.
Written by: Adam