Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Grip Games
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
October 7, 2014

If you tell me you’ve got an idea for a video game and it combines racing and platforming, I’m all in. But I add the following caveat: It has to present the player with intuitive, reliable mechanics, or it’s going to become a frustrating mess. Unfortunately, while Jet Car Stunts isn’t precisely a “mess,” it’s a touchy, under-developed game that only reinforces my deeply entrenched theory that games made for smartphones don’t translate well to real gaming units. On the Vita, it’s occasionally fun, but there are certainly better titles available.

The graphics are an odd mix of yawn-inducing blandness and surprising appeal. For instance, when a track is set before a setting sun, the lighting really shines. But when you focus on the tracks and cars themselves, you’re less than impressed. Again, because we’re talking about a title that originally released for iOS back in 2009, the detail is severely lacking. This goes double when compared to other stunningly beautiful Vita productions. I suppose this isn’t a deal-breaker for those seeking a wacky, lighthearted good time, but it’s hard to ignore. The effects are pretty pedestrian as well.

The sound isn’t much better, although the Vita iteration does capture the satisfying roar of the jet engine when your vehicle launches into the sky. The soundtrack isn’t exactly memorable and in some cases, the music is beyond generic. Then again, I wouldn’t want an insistent score interrupting my concentration, and some of the sound effects are actually comedic. I especially like when my car slams into the edge of a platform and breaks apart into pathetic pieces. Overall, though, the technical elements of Jet Car Stunts are mediocre at best, and really aren’t worth dissecting further.

So, there are these bizarre, broken tracks suspended in the clouds, and you’re supposed to negotiate them with a wicked cool vehicle. This jet car is aptly named: Shaped like an F1 car and boasting a powerful burst that literally allows the car to fly, it’s a futuristic marvel. The player can control the car’s direction and pitch when in mid-air, too, so it lends the experience an admittedly light piloting feel. There are three different modes: Platforming, Time Trial and Collector, and in each, you’ll have to master the ultra-finicky controls of these insanely agile cars. Practice makes perfect, of course, but there isn’t enough content to make that practice worthwhile.

The idea is relatively simple but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Firstly, you fall and die a lot . If you’re not perfect, you’re probably going down. Now, if the mechanics were spot-on, I’d be much more lenient; after all, a challenging game isn’t inherently bad. It only stumbles when the player has to battle unreliable controls in addition to that built-in difficulty. Now, maybe it’s just because the Vita’s analog sticks aren’t very big, and it’s tough to be pinpoint accurate with them. That’s a possibility, and I’ve seen higher review scores for the game on PS3.