App of the week

 

The Last Driver9 cert, Chillingo, iPad (also iPhone, iPod Touch) ****

The effectiveness of an app game can often be measured by the length of the tutorial. By that criterion, The Last Driver is a triumph. In barely an instant, you learn the game’s rules, controls and setting. Echoing end-of-the world movies from Dawn of the Dead to The Omega Man, The Last Driver sees you controlling

a car that must negotiate dinosaurs, zombies and more (oh my!). Flying saucers, boulders and lava are also thrown at the car, though the kitchen sink fails to make an appearance. Viewed from behind, you only control left, right, jump and fire (jumps and ammunition are finite). Since it’s all done at a consistent momentum, there’s no need to control the speed. The result is a fast-paced and almost hypnotic racer/shooter that hurtles along to the sound of metal music and amusing sound-effects. The trimmings are minor and straightforward – power-ups, micro-transactions and online leader boards – so overall this is simple, quirky and utterly compulsive; everything an app game should be.

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