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In-Depth Review

Cro-Mag Rally

Cro-Mag Rally is an enjoyable caveman/cavewoman-themed racing game for the iPhone or iPod touch. And with 9 tracks, 11 vehicles, and a plethora of power-ups and prehistoric weapons, there's enough variety to keep you interested for a good long time. It's a lot of fun, and at the "sale" price of $1.99 (see, "There is one last thing" at the end of this review for details), it's a bargain.

To play, you begin by choosing one of the two race "modes." In the standard Race mode, the object is to beat three other cave people in a three lap race; in the Gather mode, the object is to gather arrowheads by running over them (while you race three other cave people).

Next you choose one of the 11 available vehicles such as the Mammoth Mobile shown here:

After that you choose one of the 9 available tracks, such as the Jungle track shown here:

Finally, you choose your driver, either Brog the caveman or Grag the cavewoman as shown here:

Once you tap your driver, the race is on! Now, just drive as fast as you can, run over as many power-ups and weapons as you can, and get ahead of the three other vehicles if you can.

The interface is the model of simplicity. You tilt your iPhone or iPod touch left or right to steer, and you touch the accelerator, brake, and thrower icons to go, stop, or throw a weapon.

On screen indicators show you your place in the race (1st, 2nd, 3d, or my usual place, 4th), what lap you're on, and a map showing all four vehicles on the track. There are also indicators for how much longer the active power-up will last and how many weapons or power-ups you have in your inventory.

Here's a picture of me in the lead (a rare occurrence) of a race on the Giza track!

Of course it's only the first lap (each race is 3 laps), so there's still plenty of time for me to mess things up. And, I assure you that's just what happened shortly after the screen shot above was snapped. You can see that I have two weapons -- bottle rockets I can fire at my opponents. Other weapons (not shown) include homing pigeons, oil slicks, bones, and Roman candles.

Here's a picture of me racing on the Glacier track:

Notice that I have two Freeze Bomb weapons and 16 seconds of the Sticky Tire power-up remaining. The Freeze Bomb will freeze opponents caught in its shockwave for a few seconds; the Sticky Tire power-up makes it easier to steer and stay on the track.

Unlike some racing games, Cro-Mag Rally lets you adjust the steering sensitivity, which I found quite helpful. And, also unlike some other racing games, Cro-Mag Rally gives you a choice of difficulty settings -- Easy, Medium, or Hard -- so you can continue to be challenged and play for a good long time.

My only real complaint is that objects in the distance are occasionally difficult to discern. I occasionally ran into bad stuff because it looked like good stuff until I got real close.

There is one last thing: The game is currently "on sale" for just $1.99. Its price will return to $5.99 at some time in the future, so if Cro-Mag Rally sounds like the kind of game you'd enjoy, may I suggest you buy it sooner for $1.99 rather than later for $5.99.

The Bottom Line

This is a really fun racing game. The graphics are somewhat crude compared to photorealistic racing games I've tried (such as the excellent Asphalt 4 Elite Racing, which I'll review here soon) but the physics engine is excellent and the fun factor is high. If you like racing games, you'll almost certainly like Cro-Mag Rally. At the current sale price of $1.99, you can't go wrong.

Just The Facts

Cro-Mag Rally from Pangea Software

MSRP US$1.99/$5.99

Pros:Fun, lots of variety, great physics, good selection of settings.

Cons:Graphics are kind of crude, sometimes difficult to see objects in the distance.

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