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iPhone Game Review: Jelly Car 2

Posted by: Tina at 12/25/2009 6:37 PM
Has anyone tried Jelly Car in the App Store? It’s free, and got huge acclaim. That’s probably why Disney decided to create Jelly Car 2 for the iPhone/iPod Touch, now in the App Store for $0.99.

In Jelly Car 2, you steer a jelly type car through various levels leading you towards a goal destination. Along the way you might need a bigger car, or some boosters. Of course, these don’t come easy as you’ll need your energy bar to recharge before being able to expand your car to a larger size, and you’ll need to collect the icons signifying each boost in order to use them under their set time constraints.

The controls are fairly simple and intuitive: touch the car to resize to big or small, pinch in or out to zoom, touch left or right to steer, and tilt the screen to have your car of jelly tumble and rotate about. The levels you trek through will require one or all of these techniques depending on the situation. You might need a bigger car to pass across a gap with an appropriate momentum, or a smaller car to squeeze past jelly gears and other obstructions of similar jelly composition. Zooming will allow you to see the maze up ahead and to plan your course of action.

While the controls may be simple, the gameplay itself is not. Some of the levels are easy, perfect for getting into the groove of the game. The difficulty, however, will get progressively more challenging with more obstructions in the level requiring a more skillful approach. Some objects will rotate and fling you across the screen, so a tactical plan for when and how to approach this object will be needed to use its advantages to your benefit as opposed to your detriment. These are where your boosters come in handy. Some instances will require more traction to climb up vertical lengths of a wall, and the booster sticking your jelly wheels across the platform will be greatly appreciated. A little balloon will float you up to higher sections of the level when all other approaches fail.

Jelly Car 2 is as cute as it is challenging. The jelly aspect, however, is meant more than just as cute design. The behavior of the car and the obstacle course you drive through depends on the nature of jelly. You can squish through certain areas, bounce off walls, and tumble your way to the finish line. This jelly aspect of the game keeps the gameplay unique and interesting, with your challenge lying in more than just steering by obstacles effectively.

The graphics are cartoony and very simple: lines and colors within the lines. You could have drawn Jelly Car 2 in a Word document, but that’s not to say that the cartoony, jelly look doesn’t work for the game. It works, in fact, quite well. It’s appeal lies in its simple controls and simple design, but with a complicated and hefty amount of gameplay. Certain parts of the colors, like the color of your wheels for instance, will be animated. They look like they’ve been hit with static, like your television set just went out but in color. It’s a nice addition to the visuals in the game. The soundtrack is fairly generic for a puzzle-type game made by Disney. What’s cute about the sound effects, however, is the noise your car makes when bumping into things. It’s a small detail, but one that makes the game that much more adorable.

With three difficulty levels, and four gameplay modes, Jelly Car 2 is stocked with squishy fun. Classic mode is the usual trek through levels, recording how much time you take to cross each one each time. Factory mode makes Jelly Car 2 feel like it has several games in one. You sort objects to their appropriate chute by redirecting the sorters (sliders). This is the fast-paced puzzle portion of the game. Long Jump records the distance you’re able to fly across a mini obstacle level. Finally, you can customize your car in Custom mode, as well as your levels. The level editor in Custom mode lets you continue your gameplay beyond the already plethora of levels at your disposal.

I’ve seen people lose hours of their time to this game, being that it’s challenging and simple in both its design and controls, the combination of which usually amounts to a gem. The game is a fun addition to your slew of iPhone/iPod Touch games already stacking up on your bill, worth its small cost of 99 cents.

That’s my attempt at an unbiased perspective on the game. My personal feeling towards the game, however, is that it doesn’t much tickle my own fancy. I have fun being challenged and trying out different approaches to passing barriers and drops, but even with the various levels and the level editor, my attention gets lost somewhere along the way between the rotating gears and the letters of the alphabet. Then again, I’m the type to prefer more action-oriented games. It really is to each his own, so if you’re the puzzle-loving, problem-solving type, the game will be well worth the small purchase.

Jelly Car 2
: $0.99
GamingNexus Grade: B+