Madcoaster iPhone Review

Here's something you don't see everyday: a rollercoaster based platformer. Think Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros., but with five cars of screaming kids.

The game, Madcoaster, is a nice surprise from Chillingo and developer CGMatic. Stripped of the bells and whistles, it's a typical runner, where you have no control over the coaster's momentum and must keep it moving forward without sailing off a piece of broken track. Then the app tallies your score and distance traveled.

Thankfully, there's more to it than that. As you explore Egypt, a jungle and other environments, you earn points from collecting gold coins, running into animals (gorillas sound like Star Wars' Chewbacca for some reason) and spinning around loops, Sonic style.

In addition, CGMatic throws power-ups onto the play field that do a number of things, from automatically gathering coins via magnet to speeding up/slowing down the rollercoaster and even strapping a jetpack onto it.

There is a drawback, unfortunately. The game moves so fast that breaks in the track come out of nowhere, while the developers placed foliage and other objects between said breaks, which always seems like a dirty trick; this is especially problematic on the iPhone's smaller retina display. Bottom line, you cannot take your eyes off the screen for a second.

Finally, there's no Game Center support, as Chillingo forces players to use its proprietary software, Crystal.

At least the positives outweigh the negatives, and there's always a wonderful sense of accomplishment whenever we travel a bit further or beat a previous high score. For those reasons and more, Madcoaster delivers plenty of thrills for a buck without having to stand in those annoying amusement park lines. Major plus in our book.

Review code provided by Chillingo.

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What's Hot: Rollercoaster platforming madness, a variety of cool environments, Chewbacca gorillas.

What's Not: No Game Center support, developer trickery.

4/5