Game

Brightly-colored, super retro endless runner

Price: Free
Size: 94.7 MB
Version: 1.6.5
Developer: Michael Burgess
Platform: iPhone/iPad

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Given the amount of games developers that would have grown up in the 80s it’s no surprise there’s no shortage of retro-inspired shooters, platformers, and in this case, driving games.

Cruise Control is one of these. In this game your task is to drive your car, of which there are many to unlock, through both flowing and oncoming traffic, which you do with just one thumb for steering. It’s an endless runner and will go on continuously until you’ve crashed enough that your Health Points reach zero.

Grab power-ups and multipliers to get a big score

Grab power-ups and multipliers to get a big score

Along the way you’re going to want to be scoring points. How do you get these? By wrecking other cars. But how do you do this if that means your health goes down? Power-ups. The power-ups in Cruise Control are great because they’re triggered automatically, meaning you can keep your control steering through traffic. Power-ups include turning your car into a tank, which will then shoot other cars earning you points, calling for back-up, which brings a futuristic looking plane into the picture to drop an airstrike on other drivers. There’s also score multipliers which means the points you earn can grow very fast. You can also pick up health power-ups meaning some games can go on for a long time.

It gets pretty difficult as more cars hit the road

It gets pretty difficult as more cars hit the road

Of course, for the iPhone generation, there’s been some changes to the neon-inflected racing genre. For a start, Cruise Control is a free game, and we all know what that means. In-app purchases. These days it’s almost impossible to avoid free2play games, especially when Apple promotes so many of them on its iTunes apps pages, so the question always has to be: is it still playable in this incarnation? Or, if there’s an option to remove ads, does the game then hold up on its own as a worthy paid-for title?

One power-up will call in an airstrike. Messy

One power-up will call in an airstrike. Messy

Cruise Control is certainly a worthwhile game, and even though each ad is a full screen video that happen at the end of each turn, as we mentioned earlier those games can last anything from a minute to a solid half hour. Seriously, if you grab every health pack you can go on almost forever. However, it’s worth noting when this happens the game becomes one hell of a battery drain.

 

The game even has a little grabber-machine to win new cars. Super retro

The game even has a little grabber-machine to win new cars. Super retro

Of course, ads can be removed and the game holds up – $2.99/£2.29 is what that’ll cost you, which isn’t necessary cheap, especially when there’s still a huge focus on buying extra lives or ‘rewinds’ to keep you going and upping that score. Speaking of which, Cruise Control seems to have a bizarre affliction towards keeping scores. For a game focused on gaining a high score, it doesn’t have any leaderboard or personal best score-keeping. On the main menu there’s a cup icon but pressing it wouldn’t do anything on our device. You can, of course, preserve your score for posterity by saving a screenshot after your turn, which is what we’ve done here. You would after you score a 2.5 million though, right?

What a score!

What a score!

Overall, Cruise Control is super-fun, and can last for ages if you’ve the time and the skill. For a free game it’s a welcome addition to the App Store.

Review: Cruise Control – neon-retro endless running car game
Take out the IAPs and this is a great game, even without them it's very decent
For
  • Long turns – it's not about showing as many ads as possible
  • Great use of power-ups
Against
  • Some attention to score-keeping would be good
  • Only two (endless) tracks to race on
3.8Overall Score