Developer: RedLynx Ltd
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
The virtual game Monster Trucks Nitro requires you to run over wrecked buses, leap chasms, time your jumps to hit ramps at the right angle — even do five loopdeloops perfectly to beat one of the highest levels.
Even casual gamers will find this side-scroller easy to play. Unfortunately, there's just not much to it. Monster Trucks Nitro has eight time-trial levels, all of them short and not particularly challenging. You earn medals by barreling through each level as fast as possible. Beat the clock and you'll level up, or as the Monster Trucks Nitro instructions say, "When you beat the time required for bronce [sic] medal, you will unlock the next track." You can get a new truck by earning five gold medals.
In Monster Trucks Nitro, like many driving games of this type, there's an accelerator on the right side and a brake pedal on the left. There's also a "cruise control" button next to the accelerator to run flat out, which is probably what most people will do because the game doesn't require fast reflexes, or much skill for that matter.
Gesturing down on the right side changes the camera angle from normal, near, far and pro. Normal works best, for me.
Monster Trucks Nitro features motion control as well. Rotating the iPhone or iPod touch left and right changes the truck's suspension and angle when leaping obstacles. Rotating the handheld to the right, for example, points the truck's nose down, which you would do when leaping from one ramp to the next.
Monster Trucks Nitro's graphics are mixed. The vehicles are a bit rough but the backgrounds are well rendered. The game's physics work well, however, and that is really what makes Monster Trucks Nitro fun to play, at least for a short while. It seems to take an inordinate amount of time, in comparison to similarly rendered games, to load.
Monster Trucks Nitro reminds me quite a bit of Chillingo's Space Bikers, which I reviewed recently. The graphics and physics are quite similar but Space Bikers features more complex and sophisticated game play and is $1 less than the $2.99 introductory price of Monster Trucks Nitro.