Tested version: 2.0.82
Latest version: 2.1.20
Requires Android: from 1.5
Are you serious, you’re reviewing another game? … What can I say… we at AndroidPIT like games. Plus, it’s so rare to find one that stimulates the creative part of the intellect. And we feel that a game in which the leading role is given to the central Android character is definitely worth checking out. Right?
I have to admit that I’m quite partial to physics engines that allow for a creative input on my part. There’s something really appealing about a game that lets you draw something and then turns it into an awesome looking racetrack. Okay, I’m not going to deny that all this may sound a little childish—in fact, it probably is a little childish. But I have a feeling that even the really tough guys are going to get a kick out of this game, provided you enjoy a bit of construction-type stuff.
Curious? Read on to find out more.
Features & Use
Droid Rider isn’t the sort of game you can just start playing straight away—it requires a bit of preparation. Furthermore, you can really only play this game if you’ve got some notions about the laws of physics, or if you can imagine what trajectories look like.
There’s no real goal in Droid Rider. Or maybe there is: the point is to construct a flight path on which the little Droid guy can race along on for as long as possible. That’s what I meant about being able to imagine trajectories. You draw/build a flight path and have to envision how the Droid will drive, jump, and land on it. The types of trajectories you will then be able to come up with depends on your skills of imagination. You won’t enjoy this game unless you’ve got a certain amount of imagination, that’s for sure. And you’ll also need a bit of patience.
If you feel you possess all these qualities: read on!
These are the tools your given to help you build your flight path:
• A freehand pen tool
• Straight lines
• An eraser
You’re also given:
• a hand with which you can push the screen to the next available free space in order to be able to keep on drawing
• a magnifying glass with which you can zoom in
• a button (which looks like a downwards pointing arrow) which allows you to undo a small part of the last thing you did. It has to be said that not everything can be undone, only a small part, as already mentioned. The differences are minimal. If you click several times, though, you start seeing a more pronounced change.
You can adorn the freehand and straight line tools with further qualities:
• black lines: these are neutral lines and not much can be done with them
• green arrow pointing to the right: the Droid is accelerated
• red arrow pointing to the left: the Droid is slowed down
• blue with little dots: looks like a standard line except that it emits froth from the top. If you place such a line in such a way that the Droid has to drive through it you’ll see a few visual effects
• yellow with little dots: same deal as with the blue froth except that here it’s yellow and comes from the bottom. Also produces visual effects
You can build floors are well as ceilings. I’ve understood the ceilings to be a sort of limit as to how high it can go, but I have to admit that I didn’t manage to build a ceiling so I’m not 100% sure.
Once you’re understood the principles of the game you can get started with playing it. It’s best if you start by building a small part of the trajectory, wait and see what happens, and then
• use the pause button
• or the refresh button to set the Droid back to the beginning and start afresh
You should have some general knowledge of how to use the Droid Rider to start building. My first attempts were pretty useless, due to the fact that I would just start building without having a clue about what I was doing.
As a side note, does anyone have any suggestion on how to construct some sort of "happy end" for the Droid? I mean, I can’t imagine that the little guy is desperate to just be sent off into the orbit at the end of the game—even if that’s his place of origin.
I had a lot of fun playing Droid Rider. But, I have to admit that I’m still a total clutz when it comes to constructing intricate trajectories. The little Droid dude is literally doing loopings and being accelerated from 0 to 100, head down, and often winds up plummeting off into the abyss.
That’s probably what makes the game so appealing though: a certain amount of practice is required in order to unleash one’s creative potential.
Screen & Controls
Okay, this might get a little ugly... because, in all honesty, the controls are not the game’s forte. This doesn’t become clear straight away, but you’ll know what I mean once you start attempting to construct more complex flight paths. I didn’t manage to zoom in or (especially) out with the Galaxy S, and hence I quickly lost the bigger picture. I also found the fact that you have to keep switching between hand and drawing utensil quite annoying. Really put a damper on the enjoyment of the game for me.
Also, I didn’t find the Help option helpful in the least. I still have no idea how to construct a ceiling—or even if it’s possible to construct a ceiling.
I found the whole constructing business quite difficult in the beginning, but the Pause and Refresh buttons saved the day.
But even they can’t make up for all the other annoying aspects related to controls. That’s why Controls is getting a low rating.
Speed & Stability
Droid Rider runs smoothly, without any crashing.
Droid Rider can be downloaded free of cost from the Market. However, you will have to put up with a fairly large advertisement space which you have to continuously click away in order to make a move in the game or pause the game. Annoying!
A pro version is also available but not on the Android Market itself. You can buy it directly from the developer using PayPal, but having to fill it out over the phone is a total pain.
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