Rally-X Rumble iPad Review

Namco Bandai gave its 1980 arcade game Rally-X the Pac-Man Championship Edition treatment, which essentially boils down to a slew of different modes and a whole lot of neon.

The result is Rally-X Rumble, a feature packed and futuristic title that at first glance appears to give superior bang for the buck, spearheaded by its universal support and $0.99 price tag.

Then the horrendous controls bring everything to a screeching halt. The developers implemented three different schemes, each one worse than the last.

Bottom line, Rally-X is a game that requires split second turns, and the virtual d-pad/arcade stick don't offer this kind of precision. You'll attempt to turn left, but because your thumb was in between the left and up buttons, the car travels in a different direction, sometimes in front of the opposing car. One life lost. Time to restart.

On top of that, the action moves too quickly to remove your eyes from the vehicle, so you must rely on peripheral vision to control the car, no easy feat.

Ultimately, this torpedoes the entire game, where struggling against opponents takes a back seat to wrestling with the controls.

That would be easier to swallow if the rest of the app was bad, but it's the exact opposite. Namco Bandai did a wonderful job implementing four unique modes, from the classic Rally-X experience (where you grab flags while dodging a rival car) to painting a board one unique color, the goal to cover a wider area than the other drivers.

In addition, the game comes with achievements and leaderboards through Game Center, as well as local and online multiplayer, though we had trouble connecting to a match.

None of these things matter, though, when faced with the bothersome controls. The publisher has plans to release an update with additional modes, so there's hope some control tweaks will be made. For now, though, Rally-X Rumble is one big disappointment.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.

Download Rally-X Rumble

What's Hot: Futuristic visuals, cool music, universal, Game Center support, four unique modes, local and online play.

What's Not: Atrocious controls, online connection issues.